RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) has extended the deadline for completion of construction work at the Cantonment General Hospital as part of its upgradation and now it will be completed by end of coming June.

A senior RCB official told Dawn that the cantonment board had sent the summary to the Military Lands and Cantonments that the construction work at the Cantonment General Hospital would be completed by end of June. Earlier, the project was to be completed in October this year.

He said that the construction work was started with a grant of Rs575 million, approved by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, to provide better health facilities to civilian population of the cantonment areas in Rawalpindi.

The official said that the work was started in 2018. He said that RCB had not executed such projects in the past and as such it could not procure the machinery like MRI and CT Scan machines. He said that the hiring of staff was also to be made at the same time.

“Usually, the construction work is completed in the first phase, machinery procured in second and hiring of staff is done in the third phase, but RCB started all the work at the same time that delayed the project,” he said.

Under the project, RCB will upgrade 14 departments of the hospital, including medicine, ENT, gynae, cardiology, emergency and others.

The official said that due to construction work at the hospital, the RCB could not pay attention to repair or reconstruction of dilapidated roads in many areas of the cantonment.

“The road in Chak Madad Khan needs urgent attention as heavy traffic has destroyed the main road,” he said. He said that construction material was dumped on the roadside at Allahabad Road, but for last two months the contractor failed to start work on the project.

When contacted, RCB spokesman Qaisar Mehmood said that the work at hospital and installation of machinery had been launched. He said that RCB had bought six new ambulances, two of which would serve as mini dispensaries to provide first aid to critical heart patients.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2019