RAWALPINDI, April 4: After missing third deadline in March this year, the opening of Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology may further be delayed, thanks to cropping up of a dispute between the Punjab government and City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) over some additional funds.
The city government had sought Rs80 million additional funds for laying sewerage lines in the institute, but Lahore replied in negative asking the CDGR to arrange the funds from its own kitty.
A senior official of city the government told Dawn on Wednesday that the Punjab health department had intimated to the CDGR that it could not arrange the additional funds.
He said that the CDGR did not have such a hefty amount in its accounts hence it had sought the funds from the Provincial government.
He said the CDGR had now involved local MNAs and MPAs who had agreed to use their influence with the provincial government to get the funds released.It was a lengthy process as including additional cost in the original one the provincial government had to revise the project cost and submit it to planning and development department for approval.
He said that apart from sewerage system, the health department had failed to install air-conditioning and heating system in the building, although it had invited tenders twice within a year but canceled it for unknown reasons.
The health department has not even recruited doctors, specialists and paramedical staff. Besides, relevant machinery and other equipments are yet to be purchased, he added.
The construction work of 270-bed institute was started in June 2010 and it was supposed to start functioning in June 2011 as promised by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif at foundation stone laying ceremony. The institute was to be inaugurated in December last year but it again missed the deadline.
According to the project, the building will cost Rs940 million while over Rs1.12 billion was earmarked for the purchase of equipment.
It is to be a state-of-the-art centre where cardiac surgery, paediatric cardiology and surgery, angiography and radiology facilities will be available free of cost for the residents of Potohar region, northern areas and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.When contacted, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar said that the construction of building had been completed and some minor work was pending including sewerage system.
“We received a letter on March 19 in which we have been directed to bear the addition amount of Rs80 million on laying sewerage lines. However, the local MNA Hanif Abbasi has managed to convince the Punjab Chief Minister to provide the additional funds for the work,” he said.
He said that once the provincial government released the funds, the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) Rawalpindi would start the work. He said that the Wasa had completed the layout plan and just waiting for the release of funds.
He said matters relating to purchase of machinery, equipment and recruitment of staff, would soon be sorted out by the Punjab health department.