Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday launched an ambitious project that aims to upgrade the Patna Medical College Hospital and make the largest public health care centre in the state "world class". At a function held inside the historical PMCH campus, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of the 5462-bed hospital coming up at a cost of Rs 5540 crore, which is expected to be complete in seven years, besides unveiling a plaque commemorating the occasion.
In his speech, Kumar expressed the desire that the project be completed within five years, ahead of the deadline, and spoke at length about the affinity he has for the PMCH which happens to be situated in the vicinity of the engineering college, now upgraded as an NIT, of which he has been an alumnus.
Fondly recalling the past glory of the once reputed medical college and hospital, the chief minister said in the past the PMCH used to be popular among patients from outside Bihar, including the adjacent country of Nepal.
He said the government will also be working towards making the new and improved PMCH more accessible than it is now, situated along the crowded Ashok Rajpath street which is prone to traffic snarls.
An elevated road would come up to facilitate easy transit of vehicles without getting stuck in the Ashok Rajpath.
Besides, an approach road will be built to connect the hospital with the "Ganga Path", which is being constructed along the banks of the river and has come to be known as the "Marine Drive of Patna" in local lexicon.
The chief minister also took the opportunity to shower praise on the states medical professionals for keeping COVID 19 under control in Bihar where the mortality rate has been far lower than the national average and vaccination was taking place at a rapid rate.
Kumar said while mortality rate due to deadly coronavirus is 1.44 per cent in the country its 0.50 per cent in Bihar.
He said its matter of pride that Bihar has the highest vaccination percentage in the country.
Addressing the function, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said since the hospital is part of his Patna Sahib Lok Sabha constituency it was his duty to extend all cooperation to it.
He said the centre as well as NDA government in the state are committed to development of Bihar.
Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad, state Health minister Mangal Pandey and Principal Secretary Health Pratyaya Amrit were present on the occasion among others.