BAHAWALPUR: As many as 253 homeless families were on Sunday given ownership rights to two-kanal plots in Apna Ghar Apna Bhaag scheme in Bahawalpur launched by the provincial government.
Of the recipient families, 138 were selected from Chak 151DB in Yazman area and 115 from Samma Satta in Khanowali union council.
Speaking at the distribution ceremony, Apna Ghar Apna Bhaag project chairman Justice (retd) Khaleelur Rehman said the families could use up to five-marla space in their plots for residential purposes and the remaining (35 marlas) to start their businesses.
He said the provincial government would give Rs15,000 to the families for the purpose.
The first instalment of Rs5,000 was distributed among the families during the ceremony on Sunday. The plot-owners can either start a vegetable garden or a poultry farm with the money.
Rehman said all basic facilities had been provided in the scheme. These included roads, electricity, gas and water supply infrastructure and a mosque.
He said empowerment of women was one of the considerations in allotting the plots as the ownership was transferred in the name of both husbands and wives. The condition was waived for some of the recipients who were single parents, he said.
Safiya Bibi, a resident of Chak 62 DB, is one of them. She had been a domestic servant with a family in Yazman who gave her accommodation at their house.
She told The Express Tribune she had submitted her application to a team of the National Rural Support Programme during their visit in the area.
Another recipient Amjad Ali was a resident of Chak 42 DB where he lived in a rented accommodation. He said he worked as a daily-wager in Yazman.
Provincial Minister for Prisons Malik Muhammad Iqbal Channar distributed the ownership deeds among the 115 families of Khanowali and MNA Saood Majeed among the 138 families of Yazman.
An NRSP official said they had received more than 400 applications during their visits to the two areas and later shortlisted 253 through a transparent ballot.
The public works in the scheme have been undertaken by Contractor Chaudhry Liaqat Ali.
DCO Dr Naeem Rauf was present at the ceremony.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2012.
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