LAHORE: The Outdoor Patient Department (OPD) of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital remain virtually shut on Monday due to closure of Lawrence Road, thanks to development works which are being carried out in NA-120 before by-polls due on September 17 .
The Sir Ganga Ram Hospital falls in NA-120 and the portion of Lawrence Road from Ganga Ram Chowk to Safanwala Chowk was closed for maintenance since a new road is being constructed there. Tents were placed at Ganga Ram Chowk and barriers were placed signaling Al-Ghafoor construction. The similar situation was witnessed at Safanwala Chowk, as the workers of the construction company allowed no one to access the OPD of the hospital.
The patients and their attendants suffered a lot due to the virtual closure of the OPD. Muhammad Akram, who had taken her mother-in-law for knee pain, expressed anger over the closure of Lawrence Road.
“I will take my mother to a private clinic because she is in pain but the road leading to OPD has been closed,” he said.” They (rulers) forget the public welfare for whole tenure but remember them in elections,” he said.
PML-N leader and covering candidate for NA-120 Hafiz Nauman said that routine developments projects are being carried out in NA-120 and no new uplift scheme is being carried out. “It is PTI propaganda that massive development projects have been initiated in NA-120. But fact of the matter is that these projects were in pipeline before by-poll. Elections have been announced all of sudden and PML-N had no idea about it. The PML-N leadership believes in level-playing field and no new uplift scheme has been initiated. The record and date of uplift schemes can be checked.”
But the opposition parties and candidates have termed the uplift schemes as pre-poll rigging and have urged the Election Commission of Pakistan to take note of the situation.
PTI leader Ijaz Chaudhry said that no new road was constructed in NA-120 in the last four years. “Soon after the announcement of by-polls in NA-120, the PML-N started record uplift schemes and construction of Lawrence Road is part of them.”
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) candidate, Faisal Mir, blamed that the PML-N has started record development projects in the constituency to woo voters in favour of its candidate Kalsoom Nawaz. “Even the road near the Election Commission is being renovated. But the Election Commission is silent”.
PTI candidate Dr Yasmin Rashid also believes that the development projects in NA-120 are aimed to bribe voters. Yasmin termed massive uplift schemes as pre-poll rigging and urged the Election Commission of Pakistan to take notices of the situation.
“I am fighting election not against Kalsoom Nawaz but against the federal and Punjab government since both have started uplift schemes worth billions of rupees.”