23 June, 2021

Past Tense In Present

The high-ceilinged Patna Collectorate, which featured in Gandhi, was saved by the SC in the nick of time. But Bihar’s craze for the new now targets another heritage structure from 1921.

Past Tense In Present

The wrecking ball appears to have grown a morbid hatred towards Patna’s heritage buildings—like the Collectorate, which was saved by the bell for the time being, and now the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), founded in 1925 as the Prince of Wales Medical College. Or, as some would say, the demolition mirrors our love to ­create something new and afresh. Whichever side one takes, a piece of history will be demolished. CM Nitish Kumar laid the foundation of a ­redevelopment project at the PMCH, where the old structures will make room for a 5,462-bed hospital complex to be built over seven years with an outlay of Rs 5,540 crore.

It’s a grand plan to rejuvenate Bihar’s creaky healthcare system, but has not gone down well with many people, ­including the PMCH alumni. A suggestion was to preserve the buildings as they were in 1921, and develop annexes in and around Patna on the lines of AIIMS extension centres. “We have personal memories with this college,” UK-based doctor Abu Eesa Siddiqui told PTI. “My father and...

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