Two years after inspection of sites no word from ministry on the status of project
SRINAGAR: What could have become first of its kind in the country, the project to construct National Institute for Medicinal Plants (NIMP) in J&K has been stuck with the AYUSH ministry, government of India, for more than three years.
Proposed four years ago by Ministry of Health, GoI in the UPA regime, a sum of Rs 100 crore was earmarked for the project and two sites were identified in Doda district of Jammu region. The J&K government approved the proposal, and selected two places, Kotli and Basti villages, in Bhaderwah town.
In July, 2015, inspection teams from AYUSH ministry visited Baderwah to assess the soil and climatic conditions of identified sites comprising of 150 kanals of land for the inception of prestigious project.
The inspection teams carried a detailed survey of the sites and returned to New Delhi. Since then, there has been no word from the New Delhi on the status of the project.
Sources in the Health department in the state told Kashmir Reader that laxity from the department was responsible for the delay.
“We haven’t received report from Ayush Ministry teams that visited sites two years ago. Hardly anything is being done in health department in order to seriously pursue the case with central government,” sources said.
He said no serious efforts were made to take up the project that besides development of herbal medicine would have generated employment in J&K.
With around 8000 small and large scale AYUSH drugs manufacturing units operating in India, the medicinal plants institute in J&K could have become the main source for raw material to these industries, besides offering farmers opportunities of higher income, and crop diversification.
Commissioner Secretary, Health and Medical Education department, Pawan Kotwal said that he had no knowledge of any such project.
Minster for State for Health, Asiea Naqash too was unaware about the current status of project. “I have no knowledge about the current status of the project, I will check it,” she said.
Director Indian System of Medicine (ISM), Dr. Abdul Kabeer said that they were sincerely pursuing the case but, he said, it was the GoI which has not responding to their communication.
“It is not like we have been negligent in pursuing the case but we have done everything what we could to take the project to the final conclusion. I personally visited New Delhi to inquire about its status and push for its implementation,” Kabeer said.
Asked whether the project would see light of the day anytime soon, he said that there has been no official communication from the AYUSH department so far and that they are only optimistic about its implementation.
“We haven’t even received the report of inspection that their teams have done in 2015. We heard that they have pointed out some visibility issues near the identified sites. Since we don’t have any official communication, we can’t comment as of now,” he said.