Construction of commercial plaza on Mission Hospital Peshawar stopped by Cantonment Board.


PESHAWAR, July 27: The Peshawar Cantonment Board authorities have stopped construction of a multi-storey structure at the Christian Mission Hospital in Dabgari Garden area Peshawar, although approval for the same had been obtained four months ago. The order to this effect has been issued by the Cantonment Board through the station commander of the Pakistan army. The management of the hospital had got approval, from the board, on March 16 this year to construct the building in place of the existing out-patient department (OPD) and the metal healthcare unit. They razed the old structure and dug the ground for basement on the left side of the hospital. On the right side labourers were removing the remaining structure when the board issued order for stoppage of further work. "They cannot construct building on a leased property," said Cantonment Executive Officer Mohammad Rafi when contacted. He said initially they thought laboratories, medicine shops and clinics were being built but when the board came to know that the hospital management was constructing a "commercial plaza" in prime location of the city on a leased property, it stopped work on it. He said they had planned to build about 198 medical stores in the lower and upper basements and hundreds of clinics and laboratories in the four-storey structure. The hospital management had informed the board that they were facing financial problems and wanted to generate revenue through construction of Afghan Missions Hospital Welfare Complex, Mr Rafi, said, adding that that was why the board initially approved the project. But later the board came to know that the contractors had set up a site office in the Missions Hospital and were booking shops, clinics and laboratories against huge goodwill amount (pagri) and monthly rent, the official told Dawn. Mr Humphrey Peters, secretary development of the dioceses, however, said a letter written by the Bishop of Peshawar Mano Ramalshah to the board authorities clearly mentioned the purpose of construction. "No, we already informed the station commander and the board that that medical stores, clinics and laboratories will be set up on the site," he added. In the letter, the bishop had stated that the existing building was old and in dilapidated conditions and foreign resources were meagre to run the hospital. According to the hospital management, the building was constructed in 1904 and was leased to the Dioceses of Peshawar by the British rulers in July 1939. This correspondent also went to the site office in the hospital premises where marketing executive were showing maps to clients. "The pagri for one shop in the lower and upper basements is between Rs2.5 to 3 million while monthly rent varies from size to size," said a marketing executive, adding that for clinics the pagri was between Rs1 to 2.6 million.

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