“For all serious medical cases, we have to drive all the way to the Kozhikode Medical College, 65 kms away. And by the time we get there, the patient is mostly dead, so what’s the use?” Shameer, who drives a jeep in Kalpetta town, sighs. For him and many others in the town, the number one priority expected from the next elected MP from Wayanad parliamentary constituency is the realisation of a super-speciality medical college in the district on the lines of the one in Kozhikode.
“There are other smaller, private hospitals here, but the doctors aren’t so good. Isn’t it a shame that after nearly 70 years of the state being formed, Wayanad, which remains so backward, still doesn’t have a medical college?” he asks.
Another infrastructure demand in Wayanad is that of a railway line, which if realised, would provide a faster transportation route for the locals as compared to the perennially clogged mountain roads. A project to connect Karnataka’s Mysore through the Western Ghats and passing through towns like Mananthavady with Thalassery in Kerala remains on paper. While the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited has given the nod to its feasibility, hopes of it getting funds in last year’s union budget were dashed.
On Thursday, Gandhi, accompanied by his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and senior leaders of the Opposition UDF, will file his nomination papers before the district collector in Kalpetta after leading a roadshow through the constituency.