RAWALPINDI: Cops living in the Police Lines in Rawalpindi are furious after a suggestion was made that the government may upgrade a dispensary there instead of building a new hospital which they had been promised.
A dispensary with a doctor works to cater to the medical needs of nearly 10,000 police officers living in the Police Lines in Rawalpindi.
The facility provides police officers and their families with basic medical checkups. Those with serious ailments are referred to the district headquarters and the Benazir Bhutto Hospital in the garrison city.
A majority of the police department employees and their families have to thus seek medical treatment elsewhere.
During a visit of former federal interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Khan to the Police Lines in August 2015, the regional police officer (RPO) of Rawalpindi at the time, Wisal Fakhar Raja had raised the issues faced by residents of the lines, particularly the poor health facilities. They had recommended that the minister convert the dispensary in the Police Line into a dedicated hospital for employees of the police department.
Nisar had approved the idea and had issued instructions to the RPO Rawalpindi and commissioner Rawalpindi to immediately prepare the paperwork for the hospital and send it to him so that he could get the relevant authorities to work on securing funds for the hospital.
The Rawalpindi Police designated the dispensary and around 10,458 square feet of space in the Police Lines to build the hospital and sent the case to the related authorities.
During this time, the Rawalpindi police and administration started work on building a project concept-I (PC-I) for the hospital by including the health department and building and works department of the Punjab government.
The initial plans drawn up by the police proposed to build a two storey hospital with a medical outpatient department (OPD) and gynaecology facilities. The hospital was estimated to cost around Rs110 million to build.
The complete case was prepared and sent to the inspector general of Punjab and the chief engineer of the building and works department of the provincial government.
But the project was not included in the development programme for either fiscal year 2015-16 nor 2016-17.
Work on the project was set to begin after the project was included in the development programme for the financial year 2017-18.
The AIG development, referring to the annual development programme listing for the project, sent a letter to the Rawalpindi police asking it to send the project’s PC-I and its estimated cost along with 15 copies of PC-1 to the IG office.
It had also inquired about the number of beds which would be installed at the hospital and what medical facilities will it provide.
It had also inquired about who will be responsible for providing the funds. After the letter from the IG office, the Rawalpindi police had approached the building and health department for the required details and sent all the information to the IG office.
But with the financial year just weeks away from closing, little progress has been made on contracting the hospital project.
Sources, though, suggest that the project has been delayed and a decision has been made that instead of building a hospital, the Police Lines dispensary will be upgraded.
When Roznama Express contacted the DSP headquarters to inquire about the matter, he said that before the hospital is built, the dispensary will be upgraded with seven beds added along with other facilities.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2018.