RAWALPINDI: Only three floors of the five-storey building of Rawalpindi Institute of Urology and Kidney Transplant (RIUKT) will be completed by Oct 30 and open for the public by end of this year.

The building was to be completed in 2013 but due to slow pace of work only three floors could be constructed which will be handed over to the health department by the end of next month for the installation of machinery and equipment to run the emergency department.

The project of the 450-bed hospital was prepared in 2010 and the construction work started in 2012.

In 2010, the provincial government vacated 96 kanals at Shamsabad on Murree Road from the agriculture department for the construction of the hospital.

Initially, the project cost was Rs1.5 billion but due to the slow funding the cost escalated to Rs2.129 billion. The PTI-led Punjab government released only Rs200 million for the project in 2019-20.

On Thursday, Commissioner Saqib Zafar visited the site and inspected the construction work and asked the building department to complete the project as soon as possible.

Accompanied by Director Development Nazia Parveen Sudhan and Superintending Engineer Masood Ahmed Ranjha, the commissioner asked the building department to speed up the work without compromising on the quality.

The commissioner was informed that the total cost of the project was Rs2.129 billion and the government had released Rs200 million for the current fiscal.

The basement of the hospital was flooded with rainwater and the building department should ensure that proper drainage system is put in place.

“Due to accumulation of water in the basement, the building was facing seepage,” said a health department official.

The commissioner asked the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) and the building department to present a technical report to protect the basement against water accumulation.

He said the project was meant to provide facility to the kidney patients and should be completed as soon as possible.

When contacted, RIUKT Medical Superintendent Dr Khalid Randhawa said the construction work would be completed soon as the government was committed to making the hospital functional by the end of the year.

He said machinery had been procured and would be installed after the building was handed over to the health department. The government would recruit doctors and paramedical staff and has sought details of the staff to make the hospital functional, he added.

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2019