Sialkot junction railway station presents the picture of official negligence in connection with the worst sanitation system and the non-functionality of the PR Hospital due to unavailability of doctors, paramedics and medicines.

The Pakistan Railways Rest House and Daak Banglow adjacent to Sialkot railway station are in very miserable condition and need urgent attention of the high-ups. These buildings are crumbling due to prolonged non-maintenance and repairing, and being called as “Bhoot Banglow” by the local inhabitants, as the walls, boundary walls and roofs have developed cracks from all the sides.

The pathways between the rest house and Daak Banglow are littered with four to five feet bushes and seeds having several dangerous insects including snakes hidden.

The residential quarters once meant for employees of the Pakistan Railways, Doctor House and railway go-downs are also in very miserable condition. Ill-smell oozing out from the nearby drainage creates environmental pollution makes it very hard for the local inhabitants of the Railway Colony to stay there.

On the other side, the local people have converted the Sialkot-Pasrur-Narowal and Sialkot-Sambrial-Wazirabad railway track into filth depots by continuously dumping trash and garbage along both the track sides. This practice continues by the local people and should also be checked by the Sialkot Waste Management Company.

The employees are also faced with great hardships in purchasing daily-use commodities as the Railways Welfare Shop was closed down several years ago. The compound of the Sialkot railway station has already been converted into a parking lot by the PR officials that could be a big security risk.

Meanwhile, 133-year-old Pakistan Railways Hospital at Sialkot had been non-functional for the last three years due to the prolonged non-availability of doctor and paramedics. The employees and their families are deprived of medical treatment at Pakistan Railways Hospital at Sialkot due to non-availability of any doctor and paramedical staff there for the last one and half years.

The PR Hospital was established at four acres of land in front of the Sialkot Junction Railway Station in 1880 during the British Regime. The number of those benefit from the PR hospital was 5,038 including PR employees and their families.

Now, the four-bed PR hospital wears a deserted look due to the non-availability of doctors and paramedical staff. The hospital building is unattended and become a safe place for the local addicts. Most of the local influential people are often found busy organising the cock fights in the courtyard of the hospital. The posts of medical officer, dispenser, nurse and ward servant are lying vacant for the last one and half years.

The only watchman and a sweeper are the “in-charge” of the PR Hospital, as the high PR officials had left the hospital in the lurch. The cleanliness situation had now become worst as there are the heaps of trash everywhere.

The employees and their families are forced to be treated medically at the private hospitals and clinics on their own resources.

PR employees Khalid, Bashir Khan, Allah Rakha, Ghulam Abbas, Iqbal, Ghulam Rasul, Mushtaq Ahmed, Mehmood Akhtar and Muhammad expressed grave concern over the situation.

They urged the government to take serious notice of the matter and ensure effective and drastic efforts to make the hospital functional.

When contacted, the local officials of Pakistan Railways (PR) said that the situation was repeatedly brought into the notice of the officials concerned but no remedy had yet been made by them in this regard. However, they denied the allegations of presence of addicts and holding of cock-fight competitions there.

BHUs sans MOs: Twenty basic health units out of a total of 28 have been functional without medical officers since long in Pasrur tehsil here due to which the villagers suffer great ordeal in getting healthcare.

According to health officials, medical officers and doctors are only posted in eight BHUs in Pasrur tehsils while junior employees were running the rest of 20 BHUs due to the non-availability of medical officers.

Meanwhile, the construction of administration block, trauma centre, operation theatre, OPD block and several wards was briskly underway at THQ Civil Hospital Pasrur.

Deputy District Officer (Health) Dr Hafiz Khalid Mehmood said that 24 posts of senior medical officers and specialist doctors including the medical superintendent had been lying vacant at Pasrur THQ Civil Hospital since long. He added that the Punjab government was spending Rs140 million on the upgradation of the hospital.