Kohima: The Nagaland government, on Saturday notified that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) released its share of Rs 170.10 crore for the Kohima medical college, and Rs 232.23 crore has been released for the Mon medical college.

In 2014, the Ministry approved the establishment of the Medical College in Kohima with an intake capacity of 100 MBBS seats at District Hospital Kohima–Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK) for Rs 189.00 crores under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for “establishment of new medical colleges by upgrading district/referral hospitals”.

The government, through an official update, said that as per the Guideline of the Scheme, one of the eligibility criteria was a district hospital or a referral hospital with a bed strength of 200 or more. Private hospitals are not eligible for the Scheme.

The college is initially expected to function with two plots, the administrative, academic, hostels, and staff quarters at Phriebagie and a teaching hospital at Naga Hospital Kohima, which is permissible under the Regulations of the National Medical Commission (NMC).

Given space constraints and instability of land at the Naga Hospital Kohima campus, the government said that it is difficult to develop the hospital into a 500-bedded Teaching Hospital, which must be in place by the third inspection as per the NMC Regulations.

The government said that a dedicated 500-bed teaching hospital will be established at Phriebagie, along with the construction of a 150-bed hospital through State Resources which is nearing completion. The department has also approached the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for setting up a 400 bedded Teaching Hospital.

Although the Centre has approved the establishment of the Medical College in Kohima, the acquisition of land was completed only in February of 2018, the government said.

The Master plan was later approved in October of that year and construction works commenced in 2019. The execution of works was then severely affected during the COVID-19 pandemic and despite the initial delay, all works are in full swing and the construction works are expected to be complete within this year, as per the government.

So far, the Central Government has released its share of Rs 170.10 crore out of which an amount of Rs 77.73 crore has been utilized and the balance amount is available with the Government. “The project was never grounded nor exhaustion of funds,” the government said refuting media reports.

“Considering the absence of iconic National Institutions in the State and limited financial and human resources, it is felt that the Medical College will be best run as a Central Institute, whereby the college maybe even brought under the control of Nagaland University as practised elsewhere. However, the Central Government has conveyed its inability,” the government update said.

It informed that the State Government has also created 60 posts required for obtaining a Letter of Permission (LOP) from the NMC and the advertisement for the post of Director was already published widely and the advertisement for the remaining posts will be issued shortly.

In connection with the setting up of the Medical College at Mon, the government informed that out of the total approved cost of Rs 325.00 crore, the Central Government has released Rs 232.23 crore to date.

The state government acquired 90 acres of land at Mon village, about 3 km away from the existing District Hospital Mon. The soil survey, contour survey works, and preliminary works at the site including construction of roads and so on have been initiated and the bidding documents and technical details for the remaining works have also been taken up, the government claimed.

As per the timeline finalised with the experts and the department, the works are expected to begin by the third quarter of this year.

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