ISLAMABAD, June 17: A government hospital for the disabled in the city finds its expansion plans disabled by the red tape in the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
A document available with Dawn shows that the National Institute of Rehabilitation and Medicine (Nirm) located in Sector G-8/2, got and paid for a piece of land more than 10 years ago but the CDA mandarins have yet to handover the plot to the hospital.
“After the CDA offered the 4,167 square yard plot at a lower rate than the market rate, the President of Pakistan approved a grant of Rs4.7 million in July 2005 for the expansion of the Nirm hospital,” said an official of the Capital Administration and Development Division (CAAD) created for Islamabad after the 18th Constitution Amendment devolved powers to the provinces.
In the meantime the appetite of CDA for money increased and it demanded Rs1.3 million more because the property boom had increased the market price in the area.
“We paid the Rs1.3 million but the CDA still is not responding to our inquiries and requests to transfer the land so that the public interest project could be implemented,” said the CAAD official.
When informed of these complaints, the CDA Chairman, Syed Tahir Shahbaz, said the matter was not in his knowledge but promised to resolve it within this week.
“If things are as they say, and Nirm has paid all its dues, you have my assurances that we will resolve the matter in a week’s time,” the chairman said.
Also, if any CDA official was found negligent of his duties in the matter, “we will take stern disciplinary action against the officer”.
A visit to Nirm revealed that the hospital is not just short of space for the increasing number of patients approaching it but that it also cannot provide accommodation to all its nurses and doctors.
“We have no hostel, nor any accommodation for our physicians,” a senior administration official of Nirm noted.
“We pushed the CDA real hard between 2007 and 2012 but always received a cold response from its planning department,” he said. “They never listen to our genuine concern nor the matter is conveyed to the CDA Board,” he added.
Nirm is providing state of the art medical treatment to people suffering from permanent disability, speech therapy to people with speech difficulties and physiotherapy to people suffering from severe pains.
It also provides artificial limbs without any government funding to the needy people, especially children.
“We want to expand the hospital but resolving a matter in CDA is a difficult task,” said the Nirm administration official.