KARACHI - President Asif Ali Zardari will make his first-ever visit to PPPs stronghold, Lyari, to inaugurate the first-ever medical college, Benazir Bhutto Medical College (SMBBMC), by December end, The Nation has learnt.
According to reliable sources, after receiving the instructions from the Presidential House regarding the inauguration of the college by the president, the authorities have accelerated the renovation work of college to complete it before the deadline of December 27.
Renovation of the structure that was allocated for the college as well as the rehabilitation work of Lyari General Hospital are underway while mismanagement in utilisation of funds worth Rs500 million, allocated for renovation of the building, has been witnessed.
It will be the first-ever visit of Zardari to Lyari since his tenure in presidency.
On the other side, while talking to The Nation Project Director Hasan Dost Afridi said that the proposed medical college would start functioning from January 1, 2010.
Giving details of its admission procedure, he said new admissions would be opened soon and the candidates would be selected purely on merit basis.
Total 50 out of 100 seats would be reserved for the deserving students of Lyari.
He said that applications for appointments of professors, assistant professor, administrators and other supplementary staff would be invited by December 22.
He said Rs500 million had been allocated for the renovation and up-gradation of the project building previously used as nursing institute in the premises of the Lyari General Hospital.
It is pertinent to note that the present building of Ayaz Samoo Nursing Training Institute was established in 1989 in the premises of the hospital and now has been converted into medical college on temporary basis in the first phase.
Afridi, who is also the principal of the college, has said that the allocated fund had been used for refurbishing the building and the consultant would soon handed it over to the college authorities.
The project director also informed that the college is being established according to the standards set by Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), Islamabad that is the regularity body of the medical institutes.
He made it clear that the present building will be used on temporary basis and the new building for the college would also be constructed in the backyard of the Lyari General Hospital after the demolition of all illegal structures.
Afridi said that the Chief Secretary had been approached for this purpose and expressed hope that necessary steps would be taken for the removal of illegal structures.
He said in case these structures were not removed, the college site would be shifted to Kemari Town or some other place.
The medical college is a component part of multi-billion Lyari Development Package announced by the President for the socio-economic development of the neglected area of Karachi.
Under the package, various development projects had been launched in the most under-developed town of the City, which include construction of a university, law college, two girls colleges and establishment of a new modern cardiology ward in Lyari General Hospital.
The work on these projects has been progressing well while 80 to 90 per cent work on infrastructure has been completed.
The provincial government has hired the services of a former and senior bureaucrat, Shafiq-ur-Rehman Paracha, for the purpose of coordination and monitoring of these projects.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 20-Dec-2009 here.