LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Thursday barred Punjab Government from demolishing any portion of the historical Lady Willingdon Hospital for the purpose of constructing flyover at Azadi Chowk.
Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry was hearing a petition moved by Young Doctors Association (YDA) challenging the demolishing of the hospital. The court also directed respondents to submit the replies by February 06.
Earlier, the petitioner through the counsels submitted that the government was wasting huge amount of money from public exchequer to build a flyover to strengthen Matro Bus project. He submitted that to complete this project, the government had planned to demolish a huge portion of the hospital.
The lawyer maintained that according to the increase in population, health facilities were not being increased and the government was curtailing the existing health facilities.
The provincial government’s step was against Article 14, 10-A, 9, 24, 23, 19-A, 16, 15 and 25-A of the Constitution, he contended, adding that the hospital was constructed on an area of 120 kanal 83 years back. He said a USAID team also showed its concern to upgrade the hospital but the Punjab government showed no concern in this regard. He pointed out that to construct the flyover, no NOC was taken from the EPD. He said to demolish the building of the hospital was against provision of Walled City Act 2012, Antiqueties Act 1975, and Punjab Special Premises Preservations 1985. He argued that in this hospital, annually 14000 births took place and about 500 patients get treatment daily.
The hospital already has a facility of 300 beds and people get treatment free of cost.
He said due to construction work at Azadi Chowk, ways to hospital were closed and patients had to enter it by walking for several hundred of yards.
The court recorded the preliminary contentions and directed the Advocate General Punjab to ensure submission of replies by next date of hearing.
YDA had made Punjab government, special advisor to prime minister on health, health secretary, Director General of Walled City of Lahore, DG LDA, Director Archeology department, medical superintendent of Lady Willingdon Hospital Lahore, and environment protection department as respondents in the petition.