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Chhattisgarh Assembly passes bill for acquiring pvt medical college; Oppn dubs it 'black law' | Kalvimalar - News

Chhattisgarh Assembly passes bill for acquiring pvt medical college; Oppn dubs it 'black law'- 29-Jul-2021

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Raipur: Amid a strong opposition by the BJP, the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed a bill that will enable the Congress government in the state to acquire a private medical college in state's Durg district.
        
BJP legislators dubbed the bill as a “black law” and alleged that the government aims to provide relief to the college directors from debts. The opposition MLAs later staged a walkout demanding its withdrawal.
        
Over the last couple of days, a controversy has erupted over the bill after a newspaper reported that the the government's move to acquire the college raised questions of conflict of interest as the financially-strapped institute's management team includes members from a family in which Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel's daughter is married.        
        
The BJP had earlier alleged that the acquisition is aimed at “favouring” people associated with the institute.
        
State Health Minister T S Singh Deo had on Wednesday tabled the Chhattisgarh Chandulal Chandrakar Memorial Medical College, Durg (Acquisition) Bill, 2021, and discussion on it was held on Thursday.
        
During the discussion, Singh Deo said the state government had plans to open medical colleges in every Lok Sabha constituency of Chhattisgarh.
        
At present, nine Lok Sabha constituencies have medical colleges while the remaining two will soon have this facility, he said.
        
The minister said that the students of Chandulal Chandrakar Medical College met him many times, following which the decision of acquisition was taken.
        
The main objective is to serve the citizens of the state and take care of the interest of students, he added.
        
"Generally it takes 3-4 years to build a medical college, but we can start work from the available infrastructure of Chandulal Chandrakar Medical College. This medical college has 150 seats approved by the MCI. Its recognition has not expired. Earlier zero year was declared, but its recognition was cancelled," he said.

     
We have estimated Rs 140 crore cost per year to run this institution, he said.
        
Opposing the bill, senior BJP MLA Brijmohan Agrawal said it is against the spirit of the Constitution, and it aimed at “benefitting” some people.
        
"Without carrying out prior valuation of the assets, the government decided to acquire it. How can it waste public money by paying double of the actual valuation?" Agrawal asked citing provisions of the bill.
        
The bill states that the government shall not be liable to any liability pending on college management towards any living or legal person prior to acquisition which is against the interest of those who had given loans to owners for the college, Agrawal claimed.
        
Even the state government has provisioned in the bill that incumbent staff of the college would not be able to claim jobs to the government, which is also objectionable, he said.
        
Supporting Agrawal on the issue, former chief minister Raman Singh said the government could have developed the Durg district hospital into a medical college hospital instead of acquiring a debt-ridden private college in such a situation when the state itself is facing financial crises.
        
The Medical Council of India in 2018 had recommended to terminate the recognition of thecollege, he said.
        
Owners of the college had drawn a loan of Rs 172 crore for the institute developed in Kachandur village by mortgaging Chandulal Chandrakar Memorial

Hospital (CCMH) located in Nehru Nagar, Durg. The CCMH hospital was built on government land provided by the Municipal Corporation, he said.
        
"The bill has been brought to ensure relief to directors of college from debts," Singh alleged.
        
After discussion, Agrawal moved an amendment proposal on the bill and the opposition members demanded division of votes over it.
        
In the division of votes, 56 votes were received against the amendment proposal, while 16 were received in favour of it, based on which the proposal was rejected. Subsequently the bill was passed with a voice vote.
        
BJP members raised slogans terming the bill as a “black law” and staged a walk out in the assembly.



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