Additional Chief Secretary Health and Medical Education, Vivek Bhardwaj said that the appointment of Director AIIMS Kashmir was expected to be completed soon.

Srinagar: The J&K Government on Sunday said that the process of making AIIMS Kashmir, located at Awantipora, partly functional has begun and the premier institute will witness major strides this year.

Speaking to Greater Kashmir, Additional Chief Secretary Health and Medical Education, Vivek Bhardwaj said that the appointment of Director AIIMS Awantipora was expected to be completed soon.

“Interviews have been held for seven AIIMS across various states in the last week of December and some more interviews for eight other AIIMS are in process and advertisements have been floated already by the health Ministry,” he said.

He said that all the AIIMS in India will soon have a Director, including AIIMS Kashmir. Bhardwaj said that the Government was working in the direction to start academics at AIIMS Awantipora this year.

“This year, in the upcoming NEET UG, we are expecting to have approval for at least 50 seats for the AIIMS,” he said, adding that communication with Pradhan Mantri Swasythya Suraksha Yojana department of the union health ministry was going on.

“We are aware that no batch could be taken this year for AIIMS in Awantipora but it will start the same way we have been able to start AIIMS Jammu,” he said.

However, the work on the main site at Awantipora is far from completion, a health official said. While detailing, he said, the construction work on AIIMS has restarted, the pace, back to near normal after a halt of months. “The work on the project had been suspended last year after a nearby security force objected to one of the buildings citing threat to security,” he said.

The official said that the work progress as per the GoI estimate is just over seven percent.

“The project completion date is 2025 and we will need to expedite to complete over 90 percent of the work in three years,” he said. As per Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, no funds were released for the project in 2019-20 while in 2020-21, Rs 211.16 crore were released. In addition, a Grand-in-Aid of Rs 1.5 crore was also released.

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Source GK

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