LAHORE, Dec 11 (APP): Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar on Friday announced mega development projetcs worth billions of rupees to provide better health, transportation, sanitation and housing facilities besides overcoming traffic problems of the ever-expanding metropolis city of Lahore.
Addressing senior journalists from the print and electronic media at the Chief Minister Secretariat here, he said Lahore was the heart of Pakistan and the PTI-led Punjab government was committed to add to the flory of the historic Lahore, adding that pro-people projects had been started to create ease for the Lahorites and add to the beauty of the city.
Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar said, “We are the first government in the political history of the country which has carried forward development projects of the previous government and Orange Line Merto Train (OLMT) is one of the examples”, adding that the previous government under vindictive Shehbaz Sharif had discontinued development projects of the Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi after coming into power in 2008.
On new initiatives in the health sector, he said the PTI government was committed to provision of better health facilities to the Lahorites, adding that no hospital had been built in Lahore since 1992 when Jinnah Hospital was constructed. He said the Lahorites deserved better health facilities.
“A state-of-the-art 1000 beds hospital will be established on 124 kanal land next to the Arfa Karim Technology Tower at Ferozepur Road costing Rs 9 billion. This hospital will have a capacity of 400 beds in the general ward, 400 beds in cardiology and 200 beds in blood diseases wards”, the Chief Minister said.
He further said the government had decided to upgrade Children Hospital Lahore to a University of Child Health Sciences with a cost of 4 billion rupees, adding that it would be first children hospital university in the country which would treat child diseases.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar further said the government had provided funds to the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI) and it was fully functional and conducting operations.
About the ongoing health projects in the city, Buzdar said Mother and Child Care Hospital was being completed in Ganga Ram hospital at a cost of Rs 4 billion while a new radiology center had been established in the Services Hospital Lahore with a sum of 2.5 billion rupees, adding that gynaecology and operation theaters had also been established at the center.
On the traffic congestion problems faced by the Lahorites, Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar said the government had decided to construct flyovers and underpasses to provide relief to the Lahorites from the traffic bottlenecks. He said flyovers would be constructed at Shakam Chowk and Karim Block Market Chowk and the two projects would cost approximately Rs 6 billion rupees.
He said an underpass would be constructed near Gulab Devi Hospital, Ferozepur Road at a cost 1 billion rupees while an overhead bridge from Railway Station to Sheranwala Gate would help overcome traffic problems to the Lahorites living in the North while it would cost 4.5 billion rupees.
He said the construction of this overhead bridge would improve the transportation between North and South parts of the city besides solving the traffic related issues.
About recently inaugurated Lal Shahbaz Qalandar underpass at Firdous market, he said the underpass would ease flow of traffic and provide relief to the Lahorites.
About housing facilities for the Lahorites, Buzdar said the PTI government had started construction of 35000 residential flats at 8400 kanal piece of land at the LDA city, adding that 4000 flats would be completed in the first phase and people could own a home at a monthly installment of mere 16000 rupees per month on a 20 years installment plan.
The Chief Minister Punjab further said the PTI government had launched Ravi Riverfront Urban Development (RRFUD) project and it would provide residential facilities besides providing a solution to the sanitation and drinking water scarcity problems faced by the Lahorites. “The new city will create huge business opportunities besides resolving the environmental issues,” he said.
Buzdar said Walton Business City had also been planned in Lahore and it would spur economic activities and provide jobs to the Lahorites.
On the Transporation facilities, Buzdar announced that an international standard bus terminal would be built on 100 kanals land at Thokar Niaz Beg at a cost of 3 billion rupees, adding that the bus terminal would fulfill all international standards.
Regarding an environment-friendly initiative and to overcome smog in the city, he said 50 electric buses would be purchased for the city of Lahore to provide better transportation facilities to the Lahorites with funds from the World Bank.
These buses would ply on different routes in the city besides the Metro Bus and OLMT.
He said no subsidy would be involved in the purchase of these buses from the international market.
About beautifying Lahore, Sardar Usman Buzdar said the rehabilitation work on Lahore Fort was being started with funding from international donors, adding, the government had decided to beautify and embellish the shrines of Data Darbar and Bibi Pak Daman in Lahore.
About the rain water accumulation problems in different parts of Lahore, Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar said the PTI government was taking new measures which would resolve this decades-old problems and ‘people would not have to wear long boots to visit the areas’ – a reference to Shehbaz Sharif’s visit of the rain-hit areas wearing long boots.
He said underground water tanks were being constructed in the rain hit areas in Lahore and the water would be used for watering the plants and gardens by the Parks and Horticulture Authority, adding that the 8 underground water tanks would cost 2.8 billion rupees and would save Lahorites from water inundation during the rainy season.
He said that underground water tank in Bagh-e-Jinnah had ensured the drainage of rainy water within a few minutes during the monsoon season.
The Chief Minister Punjab said years old and dilapidated sewerage line would be revamped gradually. He said that project of main drainage pipeline from Haji Camp toward Ravi had been completed.
Buzdar said as per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. ‘Panahgah’ (Shelter Homes) were being established all over the province to support the needy and the destitute in the city.
He said the government would launch Local Government Academy at a cost of 2 billion rupees which would help in the capacity building of the civil servants, adding that Drug and Food Lab would soon be made functional.
He said new building of Punjab Assembly would be inaugurated next year, adding that this building was a proof of political victimization by the previous political regime.
Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar said, “My political and administrative team has been working round the clock to complete all mega projects in the city and I am personally monitoring the projects,” adding, “Belonging to the Southern Punjab does not mean Lahore is not dear to me.”
He said the PTI government had a vision of a great Lahore which should rub shoulders with any developed city of the world, adding that all the facilities would be improved for the Lahorites.
Later, Provincial Secretary Health Nabeel Awan, DG LDA, Secretary Transport, DG Walled City Lahore Authority (WCLA) Kamran Lashari gave brief presentation on their respective departments to the audience.
Provincial ministers Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Murad Raas, Yasir Humayun, SACM Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, assembly members, President PTI central Punjab Ijaz Chaudhry, Vice Chairman LDA Sheikh Muhammad Imran were present.
Earlier, the ceremony started with recitation from the Holy Quran and Naat-e-Rasool-e-Maqbool (P.B.U.H.).