The eagerly anticipated state-of-the-art 100-bed general hospital in Chakri Jorian, Rawalpindi, with a price tag of Rs 500 million, remains shrouded in uncertainty as construction delays persist, leaving the facility incomplete and closed to public access.
Chakri Jorian Rawalpindi Hospital Initiative
Initiated during the tenure of former Premier Imran Khan in September 2021 and overseen by former federal minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, the mega-project has witnessed 90% completion in terms of building construction. However, the remaining work, originally slated for completion by December 31, has come to an abrupt halt. Notably, the three-storey hospital, situated on 93 kanals of land, lacks doors in their frames, turning the structure into an unintended shelter for dogs, cats, and bats.
Compounding the issue, the government has withdrawn funds for the project, raising concerns about escalating costs as delays persist. Local residents have taken to the streets in protest against the suspension of construction, emphasizing the urgent need for the hospital’s completion to address the healthcare needs of the community.
Former federal minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, expressing his dismay, stated, “This hospital was to be named General Hospital. It is a public welfare project, and work on it should be resumed immediately. The caretaker government must inaugurate the hospital.”
The hospital’s strategic location near the motorway holds promise for providing immediate care to victims of traffic accidents, a critical need given the current 15-kilometre commute to the District Headquarters Hospital in Rawalpindi. The facility is designed to house an emergency department, an outpatient department (OPD), a gynaecology department, a children’s ward, and five operation theatres, aiming to alleviate the burden on other hospitals in Rawalpindi.
A local resident highlighted, “Around 0.25 million residents in the area would benefit from the hospital’s facilities.” The incomplete state not only disrupts essential healthcare services but also poses financial risks, with the cost of construction materials expected to surge by an additional Rs50 to Rs100 million if delays persist.
In the face of potential benefits and the pressing need for accessible healthcare, both locals and authorities are urging immediate action to resume and complete the construction of this vital healthcare facility.