Rawalpindi urology institute: Red-tap, persistent delays mar project

Residents express angst against snail’s pace work on crucial scheme

41

Rawalpindi

Persistent delays and red-tapism have marred the completion of work on the Rawalpindi Institute of Urology (RIU) as the crucial project could not be completed after a lapse of over six years.

The inordinate delays were not only escalating the construction cost but also taking a toll on the residents of the Rawalpindi district.

The residents, meanwhile, expressed their resentment over the delay in completing the crucial project, which could benefit a large of people, if completed on time.

Currently, the ill-equipped urology department of Benazir Bhutto Hospital is tending to the patients coming from far-flung areas including Azad Jammu Kashmir and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The influx of patients to urology ward has compromised the quality of service at the Benazir Bhutto Hospital.

According to sources, the construction cost of the RIU has now soared to Rs5 billion from the initial Rs3.1 billion due to the inordinate delays.

The institute of urology currently wears a deserted look due to the paucity of funds as no construction work is being carried out on the project.

The construction of the 400-bed hospital on 96 kanals started in 2012 and the project was supposed to be completed by December 2017, but due to several reasons, the project remains stalled.

The previous government PML-N had tasked Hanif Abbasi to make hospital’s outdoor patient department and emergency wards functional prior to the general election and the government had provided the machinery for the urology institute, however, the two wards could not be inaugurated.

In May, a grant worth Rs500 million was also approved for making the institute functional by installing modern medical instruments.

On the other hand, a large number of patients said that they had no other option but to move to private hospitals for treatment.

According to the sources, work on the project slowed down after the PML-N provincial government diverted all the development funds to the Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus project in 2014 and then to the Orange Train project in Lahore.

Earlier in 2016, the total cost of the project increased from Rs2 billion to Rs3.4 billion.

A government official said that mainly the previous PML-N government’s 15 percent cut on funds for all other projects also marred the progress of work on the RIU.