Chandigarh: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday laid the foundation stone of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bathinda district in Punjab.
The 750-bed hospital and institute will be built at a cost of Rs 925 crore and will be spread over 200 acres.
The AIIMS project will cater to south-west Punjab, comprising the districts of Bathinda, Mansa and Sangrur where cancer and other diseases are widely prevalent.
The institute, which will be completed in two years, will also cater to the needs of the people in adjoining areas of Haryana and Rajasthan.
On this occasion, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Union Health Minister JP Nadda, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister and Punjab BJP Chief Vijay Sampla, among others were also present.
Bathinda is the Lok Sabha constituency of Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Later in the day, the PM will attend a function related to the 350th Parkash Utsav of 10th Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh, in Anandpur Sahib.
Anandpur Sahib, which is famous for Takht Keshgarh Sahib, the second holiest of Sikh shrines after Amritsar's Harmandir Sahib or Golden Temple, is about 85 km from here.
The 'Khalsa Panth', the present-day Sikh religion, was founded here by Guru Gobind Singh on April 13, 1699.
With Assembly Elections likely to be held in Punjab early next year, Modi's visit has political and electoral significance for Punjab's ruling alliance of the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The alliance has been in power in Punjab since 2007.
(With Agency inputs)