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Haryana

Panchayat gives a month’s time to govt to lay stone of AIIMS in Manethi

June 24, 2019 05:48 AM

COURTESY HT JUNE 24

Sunil Rahar sunil.kumar3@htlive.com
Panchayat gives a month’s time to govt to lay stone of AIIMS in Manethi
AY WILL LAUNCH AN AGITATION IF GOVT FAILS TO DO SO; KHATTAR HAD ANNOUNCED THE PROJECT 3 YEARS AGO

ROHTAK: Residents of several Rewari villages held a panchayat at Manethi village on Sunday and asked the central government to lay the foundation stone of the country’s 22nd All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) by July 25 or be ready to face an agitation.

The residents, under the banner of Manethi AIIMS Sangharsh Samiti, have been protesting for the last 128 days over the government’s inability to lay the foundation stone of the institute even though Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had announced the project three years ago.

GREEN CONCERNS

The Union cabinet had also approved the ₹1,299 crore project in the budget session this year. The Manethi panchayat had provided 224 acres for the project. However, a few days ago, the forest advisory committee (FAC) of the Ministry of environment, forest and climate change had advised the Haryana Government to explore an alternative site for AIIMS on non-forest land.

The FAC has termed the proposed site at the village “non-specific” as it is part of the Aravalli Plantation Area (APA) and any diversion will result in honey combing of the only forest patch on the landscape. Following this, the district administration has now initiated a process to identify another site for the project, as per sources.

The residents of Manethi village, however, are adamant on having the AIIMS at the same site. Village sarpanch Shayotaj Yadav said they have given an ultimatum to the central government to lay the foundation stone by July 25 or they will launch an agitation. “Over 10,000 villagers will be writing to the Prime Minister to press for the institute to be set up here. The government and district administration should explore the possibility of having the AIIMS at the site in Manethi after getting approval from the forest advisory committee,” he added. Minister Banwari Lal, who is representing the Bawal assembly segment, also took part in the meeting, said they would meet Rewari deputy commissioner (DC) Yashendra Singh on Monday to discuss the further course of action.The Rewari DC Yashendra Singh could not be contacted despite several attempts.

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