Low-cost housing in few daysTuesday, February 09, 2010
PUNJAB Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said the government has decided in principle to launch a low-cost housing scheme for homeless people and the project will be formally initiated within a few days.
Speaking at a briefing to PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif on public-welfare projects, the CM said state land will be distributed among landless farmers, agri and veterinary graduates in a transparent manner and land for this purpose had been identified in 21 districts of the province.
The CM said that all out resources are being used for speedy development of the province and provision of basic amenities to masses. He said special attention was being paid on the uplift of education, health, agriculture, infrastructure and other sectors. He said early completion of development projects was being ensured for the benefit of the people. He said the Punjab government had taken revolutionary steps for development of education sector and equipping the young generation with modern knowledge. He said the government had laid the foundation of a revolution in education sector by setting up IT labs in more than 4,000 schools of the province.
The CM said besides water supply schemes, solid waste management, transport and distribution of state land among landless farmers and tenants and agri graduates, the government was also working on low-cost housing schemes for the poor. He said various models of low-cost housing schemes had been reviewed in detail and in the light of these models, the scheme will soon be initiated under public-private partnership.
He said the scheme will be started as a pilot project in some districts and later its scope will be extended to rest of the province. He said welfare of the people living below the poverty line was mission of the government and a number of welfare programmes were being implemented for this purpose in the province. He said besides low-cost housing schemes, construction of multi-storey buildings will also be considered. He said that a high level committee had been set up to finalize details regarding low-cost housing schemes which will submit its report within ten days after keeping in view all aspects of the project.
The CM said that houses will be distributed in the low-cost housing schemes through balloting in a transparent manner. He said besides landless farmers and tenants, the government had also decided to distribute state land among agri graduates which will also help promote modern technology in agriculture sector for increasing agri production. He said the project will be unique in the history of the country. He said agri graduates who had acquired higher education but lack resources will be given an opportunity through this scheme to earn their livelihood as well as play their role in the uplift of agriculture sector through their knowledge and expertise. He said that this scheme will soon be inaugurated from Southern Punjab and cultivatable land has been identified in various districts for this purpose. He said that local people will be given priority under this scheme and more land could be allotted to groups of agri graduates so that they could increase agri production through hard work and the use of modern technology.
The CM said unavailability of potable water had also become a serious problem and people were suffering from viral diseases due to contaminated water. He said the federal government had evolved a project for installation of water filtration plants in the country and this project had been implemented in other three provinces. He said the Punjab government had done its best to make this project foolproof. He said the federal government had awarded contract for the project while Punjab government has made third-party audit compulsory for the project.
Appreciating the welfare projects of Punjab government, Nawaz Sharif said that the decision of launching low-cost housing scheme for the benefit of homeless people was a commendable step. He said that in addition to low cost housing schemes, construction of multistorey buildings in katchi abadies should also be considered for allotment of flats to homeless people. He said homeless people living in Pakistan for the last 63 years had the right to have proprietary rights to their houses. He said that elected representatives should identify sites in katchi abadis and less developed areas so that a strategy could be evolved for construction of multistorey buildings. He said that instead of starting new schemes in major cities, new cities should be established and all basic facilities should be provided there. He said that forest land should only be used for increasing forest wealth. He said that a scheme should also be evolved for the lands of forests and wildlife department on the pattern of distribution of state land among landless farmers, tenants and agri graduates.
Participants in the meeting gave their proposals regarding welfare programmes of the Punjab government. Opposition Leader in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, MNA Mehtab Abbasi, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Senior Adviser Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Provincial Ministers, Members Provincial Assembly and senior officers attended the meeting.Source: [The News]