Govt to speed up implementation process for positive use of governor houses, other state buildings: PM

APP102-24 ISLAMABAD: October 24 - Prime Minister Imran Khan receives briefing on status of Heritage Buildings at PM Office. APP

ISLAMABAD, Oct 24 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday said the government would speed up the implementation process of ensuring positive use of the country’s historic and state buildings, including the governor houses, as it was an important point of the manifesto of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
“We will make sure that these buildings are opened for general public and are in the reach of masses,” the prime minister said while chairing a high level regarding the positive use of historic and state buildings.
He said the country at present was facing critical economic conditions with heavy debts and was in a situation that an amount of Rs 6 billion per day was being utilized for debt servicing. Loans were being taken even to pay the debt installments, he added.
The prime minister said on one hand, the country was facing this situation, and on the other, the government owned such assets which required spending of millions of rupees for their upkeep.
He said, “It was the mindset of rulers in colonial era that they used to construct magnificent buildings from the resources of masses, who were kept away from these buildings. We have to change this mindset. It is our responsibility as well as the need of hour to understand our duty.”
The prime minister said the magnificent governor houses and large buildings were not only the symbols of colonial rulers but more than that those were the symbols of apathy.
“By seeing these buildings and aristocratic styles the masses not only lose their trust in the governments but it also hinders the promotion of tax culture,” he remarked.
The meeting reviewed the latest progress on utilization of governor houses and other government owned historic and official buildings for diverse purposes.
The prime minister was informed about the expenditures incurred on the maintenance and repair costs of different government buildings, including Chamba House in Lahore with annual loss of Rs10 million, Qasar-e-Naz Karachi Rs 20 million per annum whereas Rs 600 million was spent on the renovation of Governor House in Murree.
The meeting also took stock of the different plans devised for utilization of different buildings. The prime minister directed the Punjab chief secretary for early implementation of the plan for converting the Governor House at Kashmir Point Murree into a hotel with all the latest facilities.
The proposal for the conversion of Punjab House Pindi Point Murree into a university was also considered. A proposal was also presented for establishment of an Information Technology Park and Incubation Center in the Punjab House and Governor House annexe in Rawalpindi.
It was also decided to open gardens and grounds of the Governor House Lahore for the general public and the direction was made for demolition of its outer wall.
The prime minister directed that it should be ensured that green areas adjacent to the building should not be affected.
Another proposal for utilization of 90 Sharae Quaid-e-Azam into a crafts museum and conference hall was also floated during the meeting.
The prime minister directed the proper utilization of central buildings like Chamba House Lahore which could generate earning.
The proposals for establishing five-star hotels in the state guest houses in Lahore and Karachi were also made.
The meeting approved creation of a designated females’ park and museum in the Governor House Peshawar whereas it was agreed to utilize the Governor House Nathiagali as a boutique hotel.
The meeting also decided to establish a females designated park over 25 acres in the Governor House Quetta and the input from the experts would be sought for utilization of its historic building.