Urology institute Land – Agriculture Department Employees refuse to vacate

Category: Health

RAWALPINDI (Wednesday, May 18, 2011): Employees of Punjab agriculture department here on Wednesday refused to vacate the office building for construction of a urology institute there.
On the directives of the provincial government, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar asked Executive District Officer (Agriculture) Hameedullah Shah to get the building vacated by shifting the offices out within three days.
However, when the EDO informed over 300 employees about the decision, they said only the secretary agriculture Punjab can issue such a directive.
The union threatened to commit suicide if the government tried to dislocate offices.
Zaheer Abbasi, a union leader, told Dawn that the local administration and PML-N leadership had misguided Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif that the agriculture department’s land had been lying vacant and should be used for construction of a hospital.
The Punjab government approved the project to construct the urology institute worth Rs2 billion at 144 kanals at Benazir Bhutto Road near Shamsabad. There are 52 rooms housing offices, workshops for dozers and 120 quarters and bungalows for officers and workers besides laboratories conducting research on soil conservation and agriculture.
The union leader said a divisional workshop of soil conservation had been working on 23 kanals since 1955 and another workshop of agriculture engineering since 1956.
When contacted, Commissioner Zahid Saeed said the provincial government was shifting the agriculture department offices to the adjoining building which also belonged to the same department. However, the workshop and laboratory would be shifted to Rawat.
He said the site had been selected for the construction of a hospital work on which was likely to start by end of this fiscal year. He said the government had transferred the land from the agriculture department to health department.
He said the agriculture department union had moved Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench which gave a verdict in favour of the provincial government. He said the government had assured the court that the residential colony would not be demolished and only offices, workshops and the laboratory would be shifted out.

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