New Delhi: The Centre has asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to identify 200 acres of land each for Jammu and Srinagar for "setting up of AIIMS" in the state.
In his letter to state, a senior Union Health Ministry official has stated that in view of "expediting" the process of establishment of AIIMS, two teams have been constituted to finalise the sites and the state government has been advised to identify pieces of land measuring 200 acres each in both Jammu and Srinagar.
The move comes after Health Minister JP Nadda held a meeting yesterday and directed officials to send such a letter so that the issue can be expedited.
"There was a meeting yesterday regarding the issue. The Health Minister had directed officials to send such a letter so that immediate action can be taken on this issue."
"The letter says that 200 acre land should be identified in both the regions. The decision on this issue was taken by the Health Minister himself," a senior Health Ministry official said while confirming the development.
He said that yesterday's meeting was a follow up of the meeting held earlier between the Health Minister and a delegation of Jammu and Kashmir.
The delegation which met Nadda recently included state Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, Health Minister Lal Singh, state BJP president Jugal Kishore Sharma, party J&K affairs in charge Avinash Rai Khanna and general secretary Narendra Singh.
Sources maintained that the letter also urged the state to forward the details of the sites "so identified" in both areas to the Union Health Ministry at the earliest so that the central teams can visit the respective sites to consider their suitability.
Amid protests, Jammu witnessed a shutdown for the sixth consecutive day today as the agitation led by AIIMS Coordination Committee (ACC), demanding an AIIMS in the region, continued unabated.
ACC, an amalgamation of over 70 organisations, has been leading an agitation for setting up of AIIMS in Jammu region.
The Centre has announced that it plans to set up six new All India Institutes of Medical Science (AIIMS) in six different states in order to cater to the increasingly growing demands for more doctors across the country. Meanwhile, the ACC today announced suspension of Jammu bandh call after the Centre's move.
It has, however, clarified that bandh has been suspended not called off but agitation of huger strike will continue till the Centre issue notification for separate AIIMS in Jammu region.
"We have decided we will suspend Jammu bandh call till the next meeting of Coordination Committee is held. We are also seeking clarification from GoI apart from acquiring land for AIIMS, which is first step of setting of AIIMS, how much time it will take to communicate to ACC about sanctioning of the all 26 departments, separate budget of Rs 1500 crore, separate directorates here", Chairman ACC, Abhinav Sharma told reporters here today.
He, however, clarified that agitation in shape of hunger strike will continue till the GoI issues notification for separate AIIMS for Jammu with all such facilities at par with any other announced AIIMS for other states.