AIIMS Awantipora to miss deadline as construction progresses slowly

SRINAGAR — Construction of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Awantipora in south Kashmir is going on at a slow pace, triggering apprehensions that the project may miss the deadline.

An official privy to the development said that work is going on at very slow speed and if its construction will go at this rate, then its completion before the deadline seems impossible.

The official, according to the news agency Kashmir News Observer, said that there was a legal dispute over the acquisition of land needed for the access road which was essential for transporting construction material followed by a clampdown after the abrogation of Article 370 and then issues with nearby Indian Army base. “Besides, winter season and COVID-19 were reasons behind the slow execution of work on this mega project.”

He added that the work was going on at full pace now for the last several months but due to the Amarnath Yatra, the national highway remains open for traffic only for a few hours, causing a delay in the arrival of construction material.

A top official working in the project acknowledged that due to the Yatra and blocking of national highways, the construction material is reaching late, due to which the work is getting a little slow. He said that they have taken up the issue with the government and it will be sorted out soon. “Besides that, around 40 per cent of work has been already completed and the project will be completed before the deadline.”

The AIIMS Awantipora was approved by the Central government in 2019 at an estimated cost of Rs 1828 crore.

Pertinently, the first batch of students will be admitted this year for the AIIMS in the upcoming NEET-UG.

The institute will add 1000 beds to its current capacity in Kashmir, including 300 super-specialty beds. The ambitious project also includes a medical college with a capacity of 100 students and a nursing college with a capacity of 60 students.

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