Project to solarise Faisalabad DHQ hospital in doldrums

The plan to shift the district headquarters hospital (DHQ) in Faisalabad to solar energy could not be completed after one year, Minute Mirror has learnt.

According to reports, the contractor has disappeared after installing solar panels worth millions of rupees on the roof of the hospital. Owing to this, hospitalised patients were suffering due to power outages and prolonged load-shedding in summer. The hospital administration; however, has been keeping quiet about the solar energy project.

Faisalabad’s second-largest government hospital, the district headquarters hospital, had an alternative solar energy project formulated a year ago. With the approval of the Punjab government, funds worth Rs340 million had been released. Taking practical steps regarding the project, solar panels were installed on the roof of the hospital by the concerned contractor, after which the project was inaugurated by the provincial minister. Millions of rupees worth of solar panels were installed by the project contractor on the roofs of different wards — including the emergency block of DHQ hospital.

Afterwards, for no apparent reason, the contractor left the project unfinished and did not return. Since then, the multi-million rupee project remains stalled, which may lead to a loss of millions of rupees.

The DHQ hospital is the second-largest government hospital in the district, where more than 800 patients visit the outdoor ward daily for treatment. While more than 250 patients are brought to the emergency wards, about 1,000 patients are admitted to the wards of different departments. However, unannounced load-shedding in summer with no alternative arrangements was causing severe difficulties to the patients. On the one hand, they were fighting different ailments; on the other hand, they were forced to face crippling load shedding in hot weather.

Practical steps had been taken by the former Punjab government to shift the hospital to solar energy so that the patients could be relieved from power outages, all the while making it possible to save millions of rupees per month in electricity.

But after a year, despite the installation of solar plates by the concerned contractor, their connections have not been started. Making matter worse, the plates are now crumbling, suggesting that the government’s plan worth Rs340 million has come to a standstill. There is now a risk of loss of millions of rupees in terms of expenditure, and patients will have to face the pain of power outages even more.