Medical &Health

No hospital in CRB against the sentiments of Ctg residents: Railways Minister

Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Shujon on Monday said complying with the sentiment of Chattogram residents, no hospital should be built in the old Chattogram Railway Building (CRB) area.

The minister made the announcement while exchanging views with leaders of civic group Nagarik Samaj, which has been protesting against the building of a hospital in the CRB area under a public-private partnership between the government and United Hospital.

“The project is under Prime Minister’s Office. A decision regarding this will be taken after the Prime Minister returns from the climate summit,” he said.

Nagarik Samaj is demanding no commercial establishment should be constructed at the heritage spot which is considered the lungs of the Port City for the green space it provides amid the concrete urban environment.

The Railways Minister said in order for a hospital to be there, the Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) must approve the plan.

“If CDA and other institutes legally obstruct the plan then no one can construct anything there. Mainly if residents of Chattogram don’t want a hospital in CRB no such project will be allowed there,” he said.

The railways minister said the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Authority of PMO has approved the project and the Railways Ministry has no say on this.

He said the information presented to him in the meeting by Nagarik Samaj will be raised in front of the PM for a final decision on the project.

Minister said, “My suggestion would be to not go against the law and sentiments of people as they are the one for whom government approves projects.”

Member secretary of Nagarik Samaj Chattogram advocate Ibrahim Hossain Chowdhury Bablu said, “According to a gazette published in 2019, CRB is a heritage zone approved by the president which makes any commercial establishment illegal in this area.”

Freedom fighter and student leader Abdur Rab and many other martyrs were buried in CRB, he said

Building any kind of commercial establishment in the CRB will be like dishonoring the memory of the martyrs, he said.

The idea to build a hospital under Private Public Partnership in CRB was first broached at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on August 14, 2013.

But the project was finally approved in February 2020.

However, residents of the Port City got a rude shock when they came to learn about it on a signboard that appeared at the intended site earlier this year.

The shock soon turned into a movement against the hospital planned at CRB, and it has kept gaining momentum.

On July 17, they held rallies, a tree plantation program, formed a human chain and even engaged in other forms of protests all day against the planned hospital.

A legal notice was sent to concerned individuals including the Cabinet Secretary, Secretary of the Ministry of Railways, Director General of Bangladesh Railways and a few others by the Bangladesh Human Rights Foundation’ on behalf of the protestors to move the hospital site elsewhere.

Source: United News of Bangladesh