PM Modi Virtually Inaugurates AIIMS Kalyani In West Bengal Amid Environmental Clearance Controversy

PM Modi Virtually Inaugurates AIIMS Kalyani In West Bengal Amid Environmental Clearance Controversy

West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose and Union ministers Sarbananda Sonowal, Santanu Thakur, Subhas Sarkar, Nishit Pramanik and John Barla attended the inauguration event from the AIIMS campus.

PTIUpdated: Monday, February 26, 2024, 11:00 AM IST
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PM Modi Virtually Inaugurates AIIMS Kalyani In West Bengal Amid Environmental Clearance Controversy | PTI Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday virtually inaugurated the 960-bed All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Kalyani in West Bengal's Nadia district.

West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose and Union ministers Sarbananda Sonowal, Santanu Thakur, Subhas Sarkar, Nishit Pramanik and John Barla attended the inauguration event from the AIIMS campus.

AIIMS Kalyani, the OPD of which has been operational since 2019, is spread over 179.8 acres of land and currently serves around 2,000 patients daily.

The institute has already inducted around 500 MBBS and 200 nursing students and also started postgraduate and para-medical training initiatives.

No environmental clearance

Incidentally, West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) has stated that AIIMS Kalyani does not have environmental clearance.

WBPCB chairman Kalyan Rudra had on Saturday said that according to the guidelines of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), any project which is larger than 20,000 square metres requires an environment clearance (EC).

AIIMS Kalyani has been set up on an area larger than 20,000 square metres.

"The authorities of the AIIMS Kalyani had applied for environmental clearance on October 6, 2022. Its construction started before they obtained the clearance. So, the project is under the violation category," he had told reporters on the previous day.

Penalty of over Rs 15 crore

Following the MoEFCC guidelines, the WBPCB imposed an environmental damage cost and a penalty of over Rs 15 crore, Rudra added.

AIIMS Kalyani has, however, applied for an exemption contending that it was a healthcare facility and does not require an environmental clearance, he said.

But the state government has no authority to exempt the amount, Rudra said.

"The WBPCB filed a case before ACJM's court in Kalyani in this connection," he said.

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