Bhubaneswar: Former Union Minister Srikant Jena on Thursday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order completion of work on the ‘super specialty hospital’ and ‘public health school’ in Balasore. Both the projects were sanctioned during the UPA regime but have been hanging fire since.
In a letter to Modi, who is scheduled to tour Cyclone Yaas hit areas of Odisha and West Bengal on Friday, Jena said: “During the previous UPA 2 government – a medical college, a super specialty hospital and a public health school was sanctioned to be built in Balasore. The medical college in Balasore was established along with five other medical colleges in Odisha back then. However, work on the super specialty hospital and public health school was suddenly stopped when your government came into office in May 2014.”
Jena, a former Balasore MP, pointed out that health infrastructure in Balasore was not only important for Odisha, it can also serve parts of West Bengal and Jharkhand. “Despite my repeated letters to you and Dr Harsh Vardhan (Union Health and Family Welfare Minister) to ensure that this work commences as soon as possible, there has been no action by your government for last 7 years except Dr. Harsh Vardhan promising to complete these projects during his visit to Odisha in 2014,” the ex-Congress leader said.
Jena noted that COVID-19 has taught us not to ignore the importance of public health infrastructure and urged the PM to complete the projects in the greater interest of the people of this region.