Akij Group abandons virus hospital project being attacked

Akij Group has postponed its ‘emergency’ project to set up a specialised emergency hospital in the city to treat Coronavirus-infected patients reportedly in the face of opposition from locals.

“We’ve decided to postpone our project following an attack on our employees engaged in building the hospital,” Bashir Uddin, Managing Director of Akij Group, told UNB over phone on Saturday.

Akij Group, a local conglomerate, had undertaken the project to set up the emergency hospital on a 2-bigha land in the city’s Tejgaon Industrial area.

The idea of setting up such a hospital project came following a model field hospital built by Chinese government in the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel Coronavirus.

The Huoshenshan temporary field hospital in Wuhan was built within days on an emergency basis to treat Coronavirus patients when their number was growing rapidly in China.

Bashir said the Akij Group had started the work on the project just a few days back and was expecting to complete it within a week as the works were progressing fast.

But, he said, at one stage of the work, some local people started opposing the move saying that they would not allow any such hospital in the area sensing that it would spread the deadly virus in the locality.

However, the workers of Akij Group came under attack on Saturday, said its officials.

They said they had planned to complete the project within a week and install necessary equipment next week and then begin its services within days.

Bashir Uddin said they were inspired with the success of Chinese government in building the emergency field hospital and a physician was cooperating with the group to build the hospital.

Contacted, officer-in-charge of Tejgaon Industrial Area Ali Hossain Khan confirmed that local people opposed the project and made the attack on the workers leading to the postponement of the hospital project.

He said the project was undertaken beyond the knowledge of the local administration as well as the local police. The area where the project was planned to be implemented is a densely-populated one which also has a slum, Hossain added.

Hearing chaos, the police and local elected councillor rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control.

He said the Akij Group also postponed the project.

The OC said the area falls in the parliamentary constituency of Home Minister M Asaduzzaman Khan. “So, police will bring it to his notice as well,” he told UNB.

source: UNB