New cancer and cleft centers to be built under PPP model in Assam
Assam's Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi confirmed today the government's plans to establish a cancer institute located at Chabua. The said center would be a joint project in collaboration with the Tata Group and Hindustan Unilever undertaken through a public-private partnership model.
The proposed cancer center would be built together with the state's second surgical cleft care unit, right in the same location.
In a press conference, Gogoi announced to the media in attendance, "We are planning to have a cancer institute at Chabua. We have spoken to the Tatas to set up this under PPP model and they have also shown interest."
For this initiative, some other private entities such as HUL may be invited to participate, He clarified though that the Tata Group would be holding a majority share in the project.
Gogoi added, "The Tata Group plans to extend their Kolkata center and wants to set up a branch in Assam. So we are thinking to have them as our partner."
In response to a query over the schedule of the centre's opening, the Chief Minister said the surgical cleft care unit would be operational within the next six to eight months. The cancer unit though, he said, may take a little bit moe time to complete. He further added that NGO Operation Smile, the cleft removal inititiative being undertaken at the Guwalhati centre had already helped over 10,000 children. This is the highest volume completed for a project of this nature.
The Chief Minister also fielded questions on Aamir Khan's recent visit to the state, He responded by saying, "He liked the beauty of the state very much after he toured many interior villages. He was very happy to be here in a way, he has become the ambassador of Assam." He did clarify that the government does not have any plans to utilize Khan as the official brand ambassador of the state.