The government plans to convert existing hospitals at India's major ports into medical colleges and super speciality centres on PPP basis, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said today. "We will convert the existing hospitals at our ports into medical colleges and super speciality centres on a PPP basis," Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari told PTI. He said that a committee appointed by the government, headed by Medical Council of India (MCI) member Ved Prakash Mishra has submitted its report in this regard. The seats in such medical colleges would depend on capacity, he added. Citing an example, he said that the port hospital at Mumbai Port Trust would be converted into a 1,000-bed medical college while at some places it would be of 600 or 700 seats capacity, depending on the institute. Gadkari said that a part of the funding would be met through the government while the rest will come from private players. India has 12 major ports, namely Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Kochi, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia), which handle approximately 61 per cent of the country's total cargo traffic. Earlier, addressing an event at Assocham, he said, the government has increased the length of National Highways from 96,000 km to 1.75 lakh km which is expected to handle about 85 per cent of the country's total traffic. He said government's focus is also to promote alternative fuel to cut down on huge Rs 7 lakh crore import bills. "We are going to bring in a policy to promote use of alternative fuel which is indigenous and pollution-free as it will help in saving lot of time, bring down logistics cost by 4-6 per cent which is currently about 14-18 per cent unlike in China where it is 10-12 per cent and in European countries where it is 12-14 per cent," he said.
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