KOHAT: People from a cross section of society took out a protest procession at the Kutchery Chowk here on Sunday, demanding an end to referral of patients from the KDA Teaching Hospital to Peshawar and providing it with the category-A facilities approved in 2018.
The protest was organised by the district coordination council, which comprises religio-political parties, business community leaders and other local organisations.
Leaders from Mohammadzai welfare organisation, Muslimabad council, district emir of Jamaat-i-Islami Mohammad Abid Khan and leaders and PPP and ANP participated in the demonstration.
The protesters slammed the Tehreek-i-Tahaffuz-i-Kohat (TTK) for what they said playing in the hands of the administration and the lawmakers. They alleged that TTK was staging mock protests and had no backing of mainstream political parties and the business community.
The protest leaders vowed to continue their agitation till the hospital was provided with category-A facilities. They lamented that state minister Sheharyar Afridi and CM’s adviser Ziaullah Bangash had failed to come up to the expectations of their voters during the last seven years.
JI emir and president of Grand Tajir Ittehad Mohammad Abid Khan said billions of rupees had been received as royalty from oil and gas resources since 2003, but the MPs were reluctant to spend just Rs20 million on the provision of category-A equipment to the KDA hospital.
He said it had become routine for years to refer the patients needing trauma facility, kidney and burns treatment to Peshawar. He said the hospital was placed officially in category-A in 2018 but since then no funds had been allocated to provide it with the required equipment.
Other protest leaders said all facilities were available at the private hospitals run by the specialist doctors of KDA hospital and the medical college.
A local lawmaker on condition of anonymity as he feared wrath of the protesters, said it was a general practice that the serious patients were referred to Peshawar from DI Khan to Chitral. He said it was not possible for the government to equip every district hospital with category-A facilities.
HIGH TRANSPORT FARES: The commuters have demanded of the district administration to take action against the transporters for fleecing them. They claimed that fare of an air-conditioned coach on the Rawalpindi route was Rs400 instead of Rs330, and that of non-air conditioned Rs300 instead of Rs250.
The people also complained that the transporters seated more people than the capacity of a vehicle.
Traffic warden Arab Jan said a crackdown had been launched on the transporters involved in profiteering. He said the transporters would be made bound to seat passengers as per the vehicles’ seating capacity.
Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2020