Who paid for installing a PET scan at SKIMS?
Srinagar: Shocking and shameful this may seem, but the money for the PET scan that was installed at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura a month ago was actually contributed by 26 Members of Parliament (MPs) in 2015 for reconstruction and rehabilitation purpose, post floods in 2014.
Interestingly, the state did not even pay a penny for establishing the costly equipment at the premier institute of the state, rather kept on gloating about the betterment it brought in the state healthcare.
The installation of the PET scan which was much politicized, with government taking all the credit, narrates a different story as facts about it surfaced after official documents were made public.
According to the letter written from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme implementation, the funds from the Members of Parliament (Local Area Development Scheme, MPLADS funds) which were meant for the reconstruction and rehabilitation works in floods and landslide affected areas of the state were utilized to procure the machinery.
The letter, a copy of which is in possession of ‘Kashmir Vision’ however, says that on the request of the state government, the funds which amount to 12 crore were diverted for establishing PET scan at SKIMS, and the state saved itself from investing for the purpose.
The letter sent from the ministry to Planning and development Department mentions the names of all the MPs who have contributed for the reconstruction and rehabilitation works in the state, but the money, as per the letter, on the request of J&K government was utilized for setting up PET scan at SKIMS costing all the amount that was contributed.
As many as 26 MPs contributed variedly with some MPs contributing 100 crores for the rehabilitation works.
The members who contributed 12 crores as mentioned in the letter are: A K Antony, Ashwini Kumar, Avinash Pande, Avinash Rai Khanna, B. Jayashreee, C P Narayanan, D. Bandyopadhyay, Dilip Bhai Pandiya, H K Dua (100 Crores), Janardhan Dwiddi, Jharna Das Bairdya, K Parasaran (100 Crores), Dr Karan Singh (50 Crores) M. Venkaiah Naidu (25 Crores), Dr Manmohan Singh (50) Mohsina Kidwai (100 Crores), P Kannan, P J Kurien, Parimal Nathwany, Pervaiz Hashmi, Pradip Bhattacharaya, Raj Kumar Doot, Rekha Ganeshan (100 Crores) Sachin Tendulkar (50 Crores), Sitaram Yechury (50 Crores) and TK Rangarajan.
Experts are saying that at the time of inauguration a lot of politics was done on the subject, while nobody even mentioned the source of funding of the project.
Dr Suhail Naik, President Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK) said, if this is the case, then CM had no right to even inaugurate the facility, in which the state had not contributed even a penny.
“Lot of politics was done on the establishment of PET scan at SKIMS, it was inaugurated and the notion was given that the government is really serious in bringing a change in the healthcare system of the state,” he said, adding “she should have let those MPs to inaugurate the facility instead.”
“This approach shows how serious they are in bringing about a change in the existing system in the state,” he added.
Time and again, the government has been boasting about establishing PET scan at SKIMS, especially during the Assembly session in Jammu this year, the Minister for Health and Medical Education kept making mention of the facility at SKIMS, however, he did not reveal anything about the source of funding and the investment of the state in terms of money in establishing the facility.