Guwahati, Aug 25: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh arrived at Jorhat on Monday, Aug 25 on a two-day visit to Assam. In the course of his hurricane tour, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of a medical college and addressed a public meeting at Nagaon. He is also scheduled to lay the foundation stone of a University and inaugurate the IIT auditorium.
He was received at the Jorhat airport by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Union Minister Bijoy Krishna Handique and state Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma. Along with the Prime Minister, Congress in-charge of the state Veerapa Moily also arrived.
At Jorhat, Dr Singh laid the foundation stone of Assam's fourth Medical College, besides launching 17 Mobile Medical Units (MMU).
The total cost for the estblishment of the Medical College is Rs 160 crore and it is expected to be functional in two years.
Laying the foundation stone of the Medical College, the Prime Minister said the new medical college would bring better health care to the rural people of Assam as well as remove the regional imbalances in the availability of medical professionals across the country.
Speaking on the occasion, the state Health Minister said Assam produces around 270 doctors annually to take care of its three crore population.
''After Assam will have three new medical colleges, the deficit in the number of doctors will be reduced. A total of Rs 480 crore will be needed for the entire project,'' he said.
The other two medical colleges are coming up at Barpeta and Tezpur.
He also reiterated that Assam will need a new hospital every decade to cater to the needs of the growing population.
The new medical colleges will have 22 departments, besides state-of-the-art equipment with teaching staff of 174, Dr Sarma informed.
Later, the Prime Minister will undertake an aerial survey of Majuli which is under severe flood threat.
He was scheduled to visit the river island, but instead met a delegation of the religious heads of the 'Xatras' of Majuli and viewed a audio-video presentation on the river island, which is facing severe erosion threat.
The Prime Minister later left for Nagaon to address a public meeting.
He shall be spending the night at Raj Bhawan.
Tomorrow, Dr Singh will inaugurate the convention hall of the IIT before leaving for Kokrajhar where he will lay the foundation stone of Kokrajhar University, Planetarium and Science Museum.