LAHORE: Justice Abdus Sattar Asghar of the Lahore High Court directed the Punjab government and the LDA to submit some alternative plan which ensure construction of the flyover without disturbing the structure of the hostel at the Lady Willingdon Hospital.
The judge also extended until March 10 the stay against demolishing of the historical building of Lady Willingdon Hospital with an aim to construct a flyover at Azadi Chowk.
During the proceedings, the judge pointed out the defect in the plan prepared by NESPAK for this project.
The counsel for the two respondents – provincial government and the LDA – submitted that only a three-foot portion of the hostel would be demolished to facilitate the construction of a bus stop for the commuters.
The judge inquired why they could not shift the bus stop to some distant place, as he would not let them even touch the hostel.
While indicating towards a corner of his courtroom, the judge asked, “If this corner is demolished, what would be the shape of the court?”
The counsel for the LDA replied that they were ready not to demolish the portion of the hostel with a condition that whenever the hostel building was required to demolish in the future, this required place would be given to the Punjab government.
The judge asked the counsel to show him the provision of the bus stop in the site plan. As the counsel for the LDA handed over the map of the plan, the judge remarked that the court was not being assisted properly, as no specific points were highlighted on the map.
The judge asked Project Director Israr Saeed about the provision of a bus stop in the plan, who could not convince, as there was no specification on the map about the stop.
Israr said that the area of the bus stop was considered as an offset area of the road, and it was specified in the map, as it was mentioned on the map.
He said the map was prepared by NESPAK, which was the consultant for this project. The judge remarked that a huge amount was spent on the construction of bus stops, so there should be drawing of the terminals on the maps. The judge observed, “If you fail to convince the court on this point, the court will stay the whole PC-I of the project apart from the building of the hospital.”
The judge remarked that NESPAK’s preparation did not mean that whatever it did was free of faults, and if the project director failed to assist the court, he would be declared “not fit for this job”.
Petitioner Dr Salman Kazmi submitted that earlier the Punjab government was demanding a 10-foot area of the hostel, but now it was asking for three feet. He said the hostel was a two-storey building and demolition of any portion of the hospital would disturb the whole building.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Dr Yasmin Rashid and the Young Doctors Association had filed the petitions.
Azhar submitted that the government was wasting huge money from public exchequer to build a flyover to strengthen the Metro Bus Service project.
He said to complete this project; the government had planned to demolish a huge portion of this historical hospital. He submitted that the hospital was constructed on an area of 120 kanals 83 years back and a USAID team also showed its concern to upgrade the hospital, but the Punjab government showed no concern in this regard. He said this hospital had a facility of 300 beds and people get treatment free of cost.
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