Published: 29th April 2021
Demand to set up an AIIMS in Kerala, amid rising COVID cases in the state
The Greater Piravom Human Rights and Right to Information Forum (GPHR Forum), an NGO working for the welfare of people of Piravom, has lodged a memorandum
When Covid is spreading its tentacles across Kerala, the cry is getting louder to set up a unit of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on the land of Hindustan Newsprint Ltd (HNL), a closed public sector undertaking situated at Velloor the border of Kottayam and Ernakulam districts. The Greater Piravom Human Rights and Right to Information Forum (GPHR Forum), an NGO working for the welfare of people of Piravom, has lodged a memorandum to the Prime Minister, union Minister of Health, state chief minister and health minister to consider the demand which would be beneficial to lakhs of people residing in Central Travancore.
The memorandum said that the Central government has already taken the stand that if the state government allots land for setting up AIIMS, it is ready to set up a unit of the premier medical institution in Kerala. "The Central government had closed down the debt making PSU a few years ago and now it is owned by the state government. The state government is planning to start a rubber park at the factory site to create employment opportunities. However, the AIIMS would help the entire state and it will be an advantage to the health sector of the state. It will also create hundreds of job opportunities in the state," said M K Daniel, president GPHR Forum.
"HNL has 700 acres of land and the state government had taken over the land and buildings after giving compensation to the Central government. If a hospital is set up on unutilised buildings and vast acres of land, it will become the biggest medical institution in the state. No land is ideal for AIIMS than Velloor," he said. A mini township constructed for HNL is now lying unutilised. The company is situated close to Ernakulam -Kottayam rail route and is on the banks of Muvattupuzha river which is the main source of drinking water of Central Kerala throughout the year. A large water supply scheme implemented for HNL is also lying unutilised. Four state highways are also passing close to the area. Major cities like Ernakulam, Kottayam and Alappuzha are at a distance of 50 km from Velloor.
The Vallarpadom Container Terminal and Nedumbassery International Airport are also easily accessible. The proposed silver line semi high-speed rail line is also close to the location. The waterway though Muvattupuzha river from Kochi, Alappuzha and Kottayam can also be connected with the location creating added advantages to the project," the memorandum said. Charly Abraham, a resident of Velloor panchayat, said that the project will be of big help to the people of Central Kerala and Velloor, Piravom, Peruva, Thalayolaparamb and nearby areas. "Now we depend on medical colleges in Kottayam and Alappuzha for advanced treatment. If AIIMS is set up at Velloor, it would be of great help and will bring development to the backward areas of Kottayam and Ernakulam districts close to the Muvattupuzha river," he said.