In an effort to enhance public health services in urban areas, the Centre allocated ₹65 crore to Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) for establishing 106 Arogya sub-centres, known as Arogyavardhini Kendras. However, only one centre has been initiated to date, raising concerns over the delay in implementation.
Union Minister of State for Health and Tribal Affairs, Dr Bharati Pawar, recently reviewed the progress and expressed dissatisfaction with NMC officials. Despite promises to launch 30 additional Arogyavardhini Kendras by January 26, none have materialised a month later.
Acknowledging the lack of progress since May 2023, Pawar emphasised the importance of utilising allocated funds efficiently. Although administrative approval for 92 centres and tender processes for 30 sub-centres were completed during this period, no substantial progress was made.
NMC's construction department has now expedited construction for 30 out of 106 centres, with the approval of an additional fund of ₹5 crore. Despite assurances of completing 10 sub-centres by January 15, none have been fully operational yet, raising questions about project timelines.
The municipal administration has allocated ₹5 crore for repairs, painting, furniture, and electrification of these centres, aiming for swift completion. However, delays persist, leading to concerns about returning the funds allocated by the 15th Finance Commission due to the project's sluggish pace.
Additionally, opposition from BJP MLAs regarding the use of community temple spaces for Arogyavardhini Kendras has further complicated the situation. Although NMC is exploring alternative solutions, the timely completion of these crucial health centres remains uncertain.