File picture of laying of foundation stone.

The construction of the much awaited Shillong Medical College is unlikely to start so soon this year with the Meghalaya government taking time to shift tuberculosis patients from the present Reid Chest Hospital at Mawbah here to the new building at Umsawli, about 8 km from the city.

Health Minister AL Hek on Saturday visited the site at Reid Chest Hospital where the proposed Shillong Medical College would be built.

West Shillong MLA, Mahendro Rapsang and officials of the Health department also accompanied the minister.

The present structures at the Reid Chest Hospital have to be dismantled to facilitate construction of the Shillong Medical College by the KPC Group.

On the commencement of works for constructing the medical college at the Reid Chest Hospital, Hek said that patients from the present hospital have to be first shifted to the new TB hospital at Umsawli.

“The patients would be shifted to Umsawli only after all necessary infrastructure and facilities are in place,” he said.

Hek assured that construction of the TB hospital at Umsawli would be completed within this year.

On allegations that the KPC Group is involved in a fraud case, the Health Minister said that such allegations should be substantiated with proof.

The foundation stone for the construction of Shillong Medical College and Hospital at Reid Chest Hospital was laid by former chief minister, Mukul Sangma on December 6, 2017. The Shillong medical college and hospital would be constructed by the firm, KPC Group from Kolkata on a PPP mode. The cost of the project is between Rs 350 and Rs 400 crore.

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