Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Baripada, May 19:
Even as former BJP leader and minister Draupadi Murmu was being sworn in as the first woman governor of neighbouring Jharkhand, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday laid the foundation stone of the medical college here that was named after Pandit Raghunath Murmu, the inventor of the Al Chiki script, just two days ago in an obvious effort to buttress the ruling BJD’s pro-tribal credentials.
Notably, there had been a long-standing tussle for a medical college and hospital in Baleswar and Mayurbhanj.
After Baleswar got a satellite unit of AIIMS to be set up at a cost of Rs 300 crore, the demand for a healthcare facility at neighbouring Mayurbhanj district was gaining momentum.
Recently, the state government announced setting up a medical college in the tribal-dominated district to be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 202 crore. The construction of the medical college is likely to be completed by 2017.
While speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that his government was committed towards providing good health services to the poor and tribal people of the state.
Health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, who accompanied the Chief Minister said there would be 100-150 seats in the proposed medical college to begin with.
While the construction of the proposed 300-bed hospital in Baleswar was scheduled to start six months ago and has been pushed to the corridors of uncertainty, it remains to be seen whether the Mayurbhanj hospital meets the same fate.