PM lays foundation stone of Punjab cancer hospital

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Chandigarh: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday laid the foundation stone of a Rs.450-crore cancer hospital in Mullanpur of Mohali district in Punjab, 20 km from here, that will be run on the lines of Mumbai's Tata Memorial Hospital.

The hospital will cater to 10,000 new cancer cases and provide treatment to 40,000 old cases annually, the prime minister said after laying the foundation stone of the Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre.

"The hospital will be ready within four years and will provide advanced treatment to cancer patients. Cancer cases are on the rise in Punjab and the state needed the hospital," Manmohan Singh said in his address.

Thanking the prime minister for taking personal interest in sanctioning the project, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said a specialised hospital was required in view of the increase in number of cancer patients in Punjab over recent years.

The cancer hospital and research centre will be established and developed by the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre on the lines of the Tata Memorial Hospital.

Punjab has seen an increase in cancer cases, especially in the Malwa belt of southwest Punjab in recent years, with agricultural and environmental experts linking it to excessive use of pesticides and insecticides in farming.

The worst affected districts are Bathinda, Mansa, Muktsar and Sangrur.

The Punjab government gave 50 acres of prime land free of cost for the hospital.

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