MULTAN-Punjab minister for specialised healthcare and medical education Kh Salman Rafiq claimed on Monday the 150-bed extension project of Children Complex Hospital would become functional very soon.

He said this while inspecting quality and pace of work on the extension project. He said that a master plan for the outdoor, emergency ward, nursing hostel and parking would also be evolved and it would be approved very quickly.

The Children Complex extension project was launched by the Shahbaz-led Punjab Government in 2008-2009. The initial estimated cost of the project stood at Rs1.36 billion but it jumped up to over Rs1.86 billion with an increase of Rs500 million due to delay in its completion. The hospital was planned to have renal and bone marrow transplant facilities besides other sub-speciality services like cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, MRI services, incinerator, rehabilitation centre and laundry by the end of financial year 2010-2011. However, the project is still incomplete despite lapse of over eight years.

The minister further said that the government utilised all out resources to offer healthcare facilities to the people, adding that the work on projects for provision of equipment and expansion projects is going on at a fast pace. He said that the healthcare facility is the basic right of every citizen and the DHQs and THQs hospitals are being upgraded at tehsil and district level under a vision to ensure healthcare facility to each citizen.

He said that the citizens would get latest healthcare facilities once the extension project becomes functional. He added that the project is a gift for the residents of Multan from the Punjab government.

Earlier, while briefing the minister, the Executive Director of the project Prof Dr Mukhtar Hussain said that 90 percent equipment for the project have been received. He added that the turbine would be made functional soon while space for nursing hostel and parking area had also been allocated. He said that the strategy for the recruitment of staff has been evolved as well.

METRO BUS ROUT LANDSCAPING

The Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) has completed landscaping of the route of Multan Metro Bus while a proposal to hand over to private companies the fountains on the route is also under consideration. The PHA sources said that after the completion of the plantation, the operation to look after and restore the dying saplings had been launched. Sources added that the motive behind giving the responsibility of the fountains to private companies was to cut financial burden from the PHA. “The companies taking responsibility of the fountains will pay for the electricity bills of lights and water pumps as well as their repair. In return, they’ll be allowed to do their publicity at that fountain,” sources added.

The Metro authority has purchased two new water browsers while 2,500 new tree guards have also been installed along the route. Similarly, the plantation at islanders at Vehari Chowk has been done and grills will be installed around the islanders to protect plants and grass from the pedestrians.