The High Court on Tuesday directed State government to furnish status report with regard to the funds granted by Government of India (GoI) for setting up of State Cancer Institute.
The direction came after Additional Advocate General, Shah Aamir informed the Court that he has received the status regarding the utilization of funds from Director SKIMS and sought some time to file the same before the Court.
The division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal after hearing the counsel granted two weeks-time to file the status report.
The bench remarked that the cancer patients in the State are struggling to receive cancer treatment and due to lack of advanced facilities in the State the patients are compelled to go to Chandigarh for the cancer surgeries.
Earlier, petitioner counsel Syed Musaib had informed the Court that GoI on 21 May, 2015 has allocated an initial amount of Rs. 47.25 crore as the first installment for setting up of the institute.
He had submitted before the court that the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, GoI, under the Tertiary Cancer Centre Scheme of National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases & Stroke (NPCDCS) had sanctioned 1.20 crore rupees for the setting up of State Cancer Institute.
“But after receiving the first installment in the year 2015, the authorities have utilized only Rs 74,45,0000 and the government has miserably failed to send a utilization certificate of 47.25 crore rupees to GoI for the release of the second installment,” the petitioner counsel had said.
He had said that out of the said utilized amount only an incomplete structure has been erected by the respondent institute, in which the basic space for operation theatres, Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Complex, Molecular Cancer Diagnostic Laboratory. Seminar Hall/Board Room is not even present.
The counsel also informed the Court that the lackadaisical approach of the respondent institutes has led to non-utilization of the requisite funds and also there is every possibility that no further funds could be procured from the central government as the said project was to be completed by March-2019.
For setting up of State Cancer Institute, GoI is spending 90 per cent of the amount while the State government has to bear only 10 per cent of the amount.
The counsel for the petitioner submitted that around 50 cancer patients are waiting for their surgeries but due to shortage of operation theaters assigned to the Department of Surgical Oncology, who are able to perform surgeries only twice a week, has lead to rise in the waiting list of the cancer patients, most of whom die in the waiting list for want of timely intervention. “Patients either die in the waiting list as a result or cancer or end up doing irreparable damage to their bodies,” he said.