‘Is Madurai in Japan or India?’

DMK chief flays Centre for poor fund allocation for AIIMS

Launching a scathing attack on the BJP-led Centre for the inordinate delay in commencing construction work of the AIIMS building in Madurai for want of sanction of funds by a Japanese agency, DMK president M.K. Stalin wondered whether Madurai was in Japan or India.

“Does Prime Minister Narendra Modi wonder why the Centre should allocate funds to Tamil Nadu when neither the BJP nor its ally can come to power in the State?” he asked on Wednesday.

‘Seven years of pretense’

Addressing party cadre at “Ungal Thoguthiyil Stalin” (Stalin in your constituency), the DMK’s Assembly poll outreach programme, Mr. Stalin asked whether the project’s implementation in Madurai depended on funding from Japan. “The BJP has been showing pretense for seven years with just one project,” he said.

He said the project had been a non-starter after it was twice announced by the Centre in Parliament in 2015 and 2018.

Ahead of the Parliamentary election in 2019, Mr. Modi laid the foundation stone for it in Madurai. A gazette notification on the project was published last June.

However, nothing much has happened except for the allocation of a meagre ₹12 crore, the DMK president said.

Listing the allocation of funds for similar AIIMS projects in other States, Mr. Stalin said the Centre had allocated ₹762 crore for Andhra Pradesh, ₹932 crore for Maharashtra, ₹702 crore for Uttar Pradesh, ₹597 crore for Punjab, ₹341 crore for Assam and ₹750 crore from Himachal Pradesh.

Stating that there were largescale irregularities in the Smart City project, under implementation in Madurai, he said neither officials nor Ministers had denied the charges.

‘Projects for a cut’

The right development projects for the city had been ignored and only those that could bring in commission had been chosen, Mr. Stalin said.

A congested spot in the city that badly requires a flyover has been ignored since land acquisition will take longer, Mr. Stalin said.

“Since getting commission will take long, they have planned to construct a bridge at a place where it is not required,” he said.

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