KARACHI - At least four trees have been chopped down in the heritage building of Sobhraj Maternity Hospital (SMH) in the name of construction and renovation work inside the hospital, informed sources told The Nation on Sunday. The SMH runs under the City governments administration is one of the oldest hospital of Karachi, located in the heart of the City at Urdu Bazar, Burns Road. The Sobhraj Maternity Hospital is a declared heritage building. Authorities concerned of City government have clearly directed the administration of the hospital that construction and renovation work should not affect the old structure of the building. It was decided that a new block would be constructed to increase the facilities for the patients while the old structure of the building and other old objects inside the hospital should not be replaced. Eyewitnesses said that serious violations were being observed as far as the status of the heritage building of Sobhraj Maternity Hospital was concerned. It may be noted that City government has imposed Section 144 on cutting the trees especially in the premises on the government offices, hospitals and other lands of the state. The Peepal and Neem trees were stated to be decades old. The third tree of Peepal which has left from complete chopping, sources said. The sources said that the wood of chopped trees was shifted to some unknown place. They further said that the four candle shaped, five feet tall, pots of marble has also been disappeared during the construction process. Now only two such pots are left inside the hospital, tiles of marbles, which were fixed around the old fountain, are also disappeared. They confided two old Peepal trees, one Neem tree and one Eucalyptus tree have been cut in the Sobhraj Hospital during past few days. Sobhraj Maternity Hospital (SMH), which is the second oldest hospital and the oldest maternity hospital of Karachi, has completed its 80 years. On the occasion of its anniversary, the hospital has added the oncology department to its existing facilities. The SMH was founded in 1928 by Chetumal Sobhraj in memory of his wife, Kishen Devi Sobhraj, as a welfare health unit for women of the area. A three-storey block was added to its private wing in 1975, and the mother and child centre was upgraded to maternity home status in 1979 - the same year that it was recognised by the Royal College of Obstrectricians and Gynaecologists (London) for post graduate teaching. In 1987, the College of Physicians and Surgeons also recognised it. A school of nursing for midwife teaching and training was established in 1991, and was upgraded to the status of maternity hospital in 2001.