After months of uncertainty, work on the hospital block of the Kasaragod Government Medical College is expected to begin by July. The much-needed green signal is expected to come at a meeting of senior Health Department officials to be held this month end. The meeting is expected to approve the ₹88.24-crore work tender quoted by the Erode-based R.R. Thulasi Builders (India) Private Ltd. The firm was selected from among five companies against the Probable Amount of Contract (PAC) which was initially put at ₹80.24 crore, a senior official of the Kochi-headquartered Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation (KITCO) Ltd, entrusted with the overall supervision of the project.
Once the tendering formalities were finalised, the work on the hospital building block at Ukinadka, near Badiadka, some 30 km from Kasaragod, was expected to begin by July. The entire civil work was scheduled to be executed in 20 months, thus putting the hospital in functional mode by early 2020, he said. “The State, with the financial support of NABARD, is likely to procure expensive hospital equipment as the building work progresses and the medical college is expected to be made functional in a few months,” he said. Meanwhile, work on the 20,000-sq m academic block is nearing completion. The college is expected to accommodate a batch of 100 students every year.
Work on the ₹100-crore residential project with two hostels to accommodate 360 girls and 240 boys, housing units for teaching and non-teaching staff and nurses, and quarters for 100-odd interns, is also part of the project. The delay in starting work on the hospital, for which foundation stone was laid on November 30, 2013 by former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, had caused concern among the residents of the district, which has a sizeable population of endosulfan victims. Health Minister KK Shylaja had attributed delay to acute fund crunch. However, Shylaja is said to have accorded priority for the early completion of the hospital the other day setting to rest speculations that the hospital project could be used for rehabilitating the endosulfan victims. The hospital is expected to give a fillip to the health sector of the district which lacks any major health-care facility. – The Hindu