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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the health department to make the closed Children Hospital North Karachi operational within 15 days and said he was ready to pay its liabilities.

“People of North Karachi cannot be denied the services of their health facility for the issues between the private partner and the government therefore the hospital must be started immediately for the larger interest of the area.”

This he said while presiding over the 37th meeting of PPP Policy Board at CM House. The meeting was attended by Minister health Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Minister LG Nasir Shah, Advisor law Murtaza Wahab, Special Assistant to CM Syed Qasim Naveed, MPA Ghualm Qadir Chandio, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, VC NED University, SMBR Baqaullah Unar, Secretary LG Najam Shah and others.

Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho told the Chief Minister that the Health Department had executed a management contract with Poverty Eradication Initiative (PEI) in Sep 2016 for a period of 10 years. But, the private partner closed the hospital in December 2021 and PEI filed a suit before Sindh High Court on September 22, 2020. Since, the hospital was un-operational.

Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput told the Chief Minister that he had held a meeting on the issues of the hospital in which Rs616 million liabilities were worked out. He added that Rs425 million were required to make the hospital operational.

The Chief Minister said that he was ready to release the funds immediately but the hospital must be made functional within the next 15 days. “It must be one of the best hospitals in the city,” he said categorically.

Murad Ali Shah directed the health department to ensure the audit of the hospital right from its start in 2016. The policy board approved the proposal.

5 MGD Desalination plant: The PPP policy board was told that in order to meet water requirements, the government has decided to install two Seawater Desalination plants, each one of 5 MGD, one at Ibrahim Hyderi and other at Native Jetty or somewhere near Kemari.

Local govt Nasir Shah said that his department has hired a consultant to feasibility study and transaction advisory service. He added that the desalination technology has been selected for the plant.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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