ISLAMABAD - The federal government has reappropriated Rs250 million, during fiscal year 2016-17, to the Khyber Institute of Child Health (KICH) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but the funds are likely to lapse once again, it is learnt reliably here on Sunday.

The hospital faces severe fund shortage and the finance division has asked the planning ministry to issue the authorisation for the release of Rs250 million re-appropriated amount to KP children hospital, official sources told The Nation. In the PSDP 2016-17, Rs400 million was allocated for the project and it was already released and now another Rs250 million were re-appropraited from the road project in Chitral, the source said.

Due to Eidul Fitr holidays it is unlikely that the funds will get released prior the end of current fiscal which is about to expire on June 30, the source said. In 2015-16 also around Rs240 million re-appropriated mount for the KP children hospital was lapsed and this year the thing seems to be going in the same direction, sources maintained. Last year the amount was re-appropriated from the cancer hospital in Islamabad but due non-responsive attitude of the KP government it was surrendered to the treasury, sources said.

Both the provincial and federal government seems uninterested in the completion of the project and therefore the project is still incomplete despite the lapse of so many years. It is true that the federal government biased attitude toward the PTI controlled province is one of the reason but on the other hand the lethargy of the provincial bureaucracy, particularly health department, is causing much damage to the province’s interest, the source commented.

Giving the detail, the source said that the federal government has allocated Rs100 million in the PSDP 2015-16 for the children hospital in KP and Rs240 million for the cancer hospital. The PSDP allocated amount was utilised by the KP government but they were required more funds for the early completion of the project. Since work on the cancer hospital Islamabad was slow and the KP requested for extra funding therefore the allocation of Rs240 million of cancer hospital was re-appropriated in favour of the children hospital KP.

“Ironically last year on May 18 the amount of KP hospital was surrendered to Treasury, by Finance, but during current fiscal till now the planning ministry is busy releasing funds particularly to schemes in Punjab,” the source maintained. Construction of the Khyber Institute of Child Health (KICH) in Peshawar was announced during the PPP government by then president Asif Ali Zardari, along with other projects in Sindh. The projects were announced under president’s special development initiative programme. Since the departure of the PPP government, due to unavailability of funds, work on the project was slow and only 20-25pc work on the hospital has been completed, the source informed.

This hospital with over 11 specialised units such as orthopaedics, surgery, paediatrics trauma, cardiology, gastroenterology, herpetology, nephrology, when completed, would cater to the needs of KP and tribal areas children. It is pertinent to mention here that currently there is no children hospital in the province and parents have to take their children to Islamabad, Rawalpindi or Lahore for treatment.

The hospital has failed to meet the earlier completion target of 2013 and later it was extended to June 2017 but it was also not materialised. With current pace of work and fund allocation it is unlikely that the project will be completed earlier than 2020, the source said.