Another roadblock?: CDA to reconsider land offer for Polyclinic expansion

Under the plan, a building housing 1,000-beds was to be built.

Danish Hussain July 20, 2013
The much-needed expansion of the government hospital may be cancelled or postponed. PHOTO: FILE


The much-needed Polyclinic Hospital expansion plan may hit another snag as the civic agency has decided to reconsider its land offer to the hospital.

The government in 2011 approved the expansion plan allowing construction of a 1,000-bed building at a cost of Rs10 billion.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) board in its upcoming meeting will deliberate on a suggestion to withdraw the offer of allotment of the additional land to the hospital for its expansion.

“The issue has been made part of the agenda of the upcoming board’s meeting,” said a senior officer in the civic agency requesting not to be named.

“The meeting will review the CDA Board decision of 2011, approving the allotment of 2.54 acres from the adjacent Argentina Park for the expansion of existing Polyclinic Hospital,” said the official.

The cost of the land was worked out at Rs55.321 million and CDA had linked the handing over of the possession of the land to payment of the amount. For several reasons neither the federal government released the amount for the expansion nor the CDA handed over possession to the hospital.

Reason to withdraw the offer

In 2011, the additional land was given out of the existing Argentina Park and one-third of the park’s area was planned to be utilised under the expansion plan.

In the recent past, the Supreme Court handed down strong verdicts against conversion of public park’s land for other purposes. “A number of constitutional petitions and the apex court’s verdicts regarding the Mini Golf Club and the G-13 Public Park have been included on the agenda of the CDA board meeting,” said the official.

Last month, the civic body sought legal opinion of the ministry of law and justice over the issue after submitting details of the court verdicts and current status of the land allotted for the expansion of the Polyclinic Hospital.

The ministry of law has reportedly advised the CDA to reconsider its land offer saying the apex court’s verdicts strongly prohibit that lands meant for public parks could be utilised for other purposes.

“The CDA has now identified two sites in Sector I-8 and G-10 where the additional land could be offered to the hospital. The CDA has also asked the hospital administration that the facility could be expanded by demolishing doctors and nurses hostels,” a CDA official said. He said that in the light of the court rulings, the authority would not approve the expansion plan.

Meanwhile, Director Public Relations Asia Gull said that she would only comment on the issue after consulting the officials concerned.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2013.


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