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December 11, 2019

Illegal construction on Polyclinic putting thousands of patients’ lives at risk


December 11, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Polyclinic Hospital — the second largest hospital of the federal capital is illegally constructing various works on the expired building without any approval of Public Works Department (PWD) putting the lives of thousands of patients at risk.

The Federal Government Polyclinic Hospital building is more than 55 years old as the hospital was built in 1962. According to PWD engineers, the average age of government buildings is 50 years. Technically any building which is more than 50 years old is considered expired in the civil engineering term and same is the case with Polyclinic Hospital.

“Any construction work on this building without the approval of civil engineers would be suicidal as it is too old building and can collapse if unnecessary construction work is carried out. However the hospital management is building room on first floor of the hospital without approval of PWD or any other engineer from private sector. The building structure is too old and poses the risk of collapse anytime”, said a PWD officials.

The management of PWD had written several letters to the hospital management and raised objections on the civil works without the approval of the public works department. However, the hospital management is continuously violating the rules. The hospital management gets the estimates of construction work from PWD and then carries out the work by its own without even getting approval from the competent authority, commented the official.

“1973 Business Rules of Public Works Department clearly mention that development of sites, construction, furnishing and maintenance of federal government buildings, except those under the Defence Division are the responsibility of Public Works Department. However the hospital administration is violating these rules and spending millions of rupees without the approval of the PWD”, said the official.

On December 03, 2019 Assistant Executive Engineer of PWD wrote a letter and highlighted the wrongdoing of the hospital administration. According to the letter, the hospital administration is constructing various works without proper designing/ drawings and structural drawings approved by any competent authority of Pak PWD. “A room has been constructed at first floor on liquid store without testing/checking the foundation structure. The existing building was constructed by CDA 55 years ago. Since the useful life has been expired”, the letter says.

The letter has highlighted further illegal construction by the hospital administration. According to the letter,

“The construction of one room at children’s OPD without approval of the competent authority. The repair of bathrooms in wards constructed by the hospital administration without changing pipes and sunk portion of first floor due to this, there is lot of seepage issues. The open steel shed construction without proper design/drawings and approval. The MCH Hospital (Mother Children Hospital) at Aabpara and G-7/3 Dispensary also constructed by their own and altering/repairing of the existing structure without approval. Due to the above facts existing structure of building and water supply and sanitary lines have been affected badly.”

When contacted Deputy Medical Superintendent Federal Government Polyclinic Hospital Dr Amanullah said the PWD official Ashfaq Afridi had visited construction sites and he gave approval of the construction work. When this scribe asked whether the approval by the relevant official of PWD was given in written form the deputy medical superintendent said the written approval will be sought soon.

The News also contacted Ashfaq Afridi to know whether he gave approval of the construction work of Polyclinic Hospital, he categorically denied and said he is not the competent authority to give approval of any construction work. “The Director General (DG) PWD is the competent authority to approve any construction work of government building”, he said.

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