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Virtual inauguration ceremony of cancer institute turns controversial

Kolkata, Jan 7 (IANS) The virtual inauguration ceremony of the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) campus in Kolkata's Rajarhat area through video conferencing where both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were present turned controversial after Banerjee complained to Modi against Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on the open forum.

The chief minister during her brief speech alleged that the governor has raised questions on the appointments of consultants from private institutes. "He wanted to see all the papers regarding the appointments. He doesn't know that we have decided to go for the appointments following the central government's decision."

"We might have political differences but we try to follow the central government directive in 90 percent cases," Banerjee added.

The chief minister was referring to an issue where Dhankhar had sought details from Chief Secretary H K Diwedi about the mechanism, modalities and the precise selection process to be followed for this recruitment of senior consultants/consultants published by the Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms.

Dhankhar in his letter to Diwedi wrote "Serious issues have been raised from several quarters regarding this matter in respect of the lack of transparency, accountability and modalities of the selection process of these consultants. Already recruitment in some categories is under judicial scanner".

The chief minister also asked the Prime Minister to increase the medical seats in the state and urged the Centre to sanction more IAS and IPS officers for the state.

While inaugurating the campus, Modi said, "Today we have taken another step towards strengthening the national resolve to provide quality health facilities to every citizen of the country. The second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute has brought great convenience to many citizens of West Bengal. This will provide great convenience especially to the poor and middle-class families who have someone suffering from cancer."

He added that the country has crossed yet another important milestone. "Today, in the first week of the first month of the year, India is achieving the historic milestone of injecting 150 crore vaccine doses. This is no less than a surprise for most of the countries of the world. For India, it is a symbol of new will power, which has the courage to do anything to make the impossible possible."

Modi said till now, around 11 crore doses of Covid vaccines have been provided free of cost to West Bengal. "More than one and a half thousand ventilators, more than 9,000 new oxygen cylinders have also been given to West Bengal. As many as 49 PSAs, new oxygen plants, have also started functioning," he added.

The campus has been constructed at a cost of Rs 530 crore. The central government has given Rs 400 crore for this while the West Bengal government has put in the remaining amount.

The new campus will have a 460-bed Comprehensive Cancer Unit equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure for cancer diagnosis, staging, treatment and care.

The campus is well-equipped with modern facilities like Nuclear Medicine (PET), 3.0 Tesla MRI, 128 Slice CT Scanner, Radionuclide Therapy Unit, Endoscopy, Modern Brachytherapy Unit. It will also serve as an advanced cancer research facility and will be specially designed for cancer treatment in the eastern and north-eastern parts of the country.