LAHORE: Justice Abdus Sattar Asghar of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday further postponed the hearing of a petition challenging the planned demolition of the historical building of Lady Willingdon Hospital for the construction of a flyover at Azadi Chowk.
Justice Asghar also extended until March 13 the stay against demolition of the hospital building. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Dr Yasmin Rashid and Young Doctors Association had filed the petitions. Azhar submitted that the government was wasting massive funds from the public exchequer to build a flyover for the metro bus project. He said that to complete this project; the government plans 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. The hospital has 300 beds and offers free-of-cost treatment. He submitted that 14,000 births take place at this hospital every year and about 500 patients get treatment daily.
Azhar argued that despite an increase in the population health facilities are not increasing, and through such steps the government is taking away the existing health facilities.
Azhar submitted that the petitioner had already had given a notice to the concerned authorities which they did not bother and are preparing to demolish it. He said that this step of demolishing the hospital was violation of articles 14, 10-A, 9, 24, 23, 19-A, 16, 15 and 25-A of the Constitution.
He said due to construction work at Azadi Chowk, ways to hospital are closed and patients have to enter it by walking for several hundred of yards. He said that even for construction of the flyover, no NOC is taken from the environment department.
He said to demolish the building of the hospital was also against provision of Walled City Act 2012, Antiquities Act 1975, and Punjab Special Premises Preservations 1985. He requested to declare the government decision to demolish the hospital building as illegal and direct to preserve it.
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