Madurai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday laid the foundation stone for the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Thoppur near temple town Madurai at the cost of Rs 1,264 crore. This would be the first such facility in Tamil Nadu.

Modi also unveiled super speciality blocks at state-run medical colleges in Madurai, Thanjavur and Tirunelveli through video conference facility.

These blocs would have high-tech diagnostic equipment and facilities including Cath lab. The proposed 750-bed modern AIIMS here, on its completion, will also offer 100 MBBS seats.

State chief minister K Palaniswami thanked the Prime Minister for providing the AIIMS facility to Tamil Nadu and urged upon the Centre to set up a medical college at the backward Ramanathapuram district.

Deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam said AIIMS would greatly benefit the people of backward southern districts of Tamil Nadu adding all necessary infrastructure will be developed in the region.

The Madurai AIIMS was given union Cabinet approval in December 2018.

Palaniswami had assured the state's full support to facilitate early commencement and completion of the project for realising late chief minister J Jayalalithaa's dream.

When the Centre announced in its 2014-15 budget that new AIIMS would be set up in various parts of the country, Jayalalithaa had requested one such facility for Tamil Nadu.

Following her plea, the Centre announced in the 2015-16 budget that an AIIMS would be set up in the state.

After a prolonged process, the authorities zeroed in on Thoppur near here for setting up AIIMS.