Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad inaugurated the three level underground parking facilities of AIIMS at New Delhi today. Addressing the inaugural programme, Shri Azad said the foundation stone of the project was laid by him on 1st October 2011. Construction work was completed within 9 months. But due to delay in getting clearances from various departments for formal opening, the parking facility could be opened today only. The parking facility has been constructed by HSCC at a cost of Rs.54 crores. The underground parking facility will accommodate 400 vehicles. He said average number of vehicles entering AIIMS campus is around 5400 on working days and 3200 on Sundays / holidays. To meet the huge parking needs, in addition to this, AIIMS authorities are further working on the Master Plan, where it is proposed to create an underground parking hub which would accommodate about 10,000 vehicles. After the approval of Master Plan by NDMC and other authorities, the proposal will be taken to the next logical step. Shri Azad said AIIMS New Delhi is in the forefront of medical education, research and patient care in the country. During 2011-12 more than 26 lakh patients visited the OPDs and emergency departments. Over 1.7 lakh patients were admitted; and more than 1.26 lakh surgeries were performed by the doctors and specialists at AIIMS New Delhi. These figures speak volumes about the enormous load being handled by the AIIMS faculty, staff and authorities. He hoped that with the start of 6 more new AIIMS in various parts of the country, the number of patients coming to New Delhi would be reduced in the coming years. Earlier Dr. R. C. Deka, Director, AIIMS welcomed the gathering.