The provincial government has made payments to the tune of nearly Rs3 billion as compensation to those affected by the Orange Line Metro Train project, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khwaja Ahmad Hassaan said on Saturday.
Hassan made the remarks while speaking to newsmen. He said so far the government had awarded compensation to 700 claimants out of a total of 2,400. Hassaan said the government would give relocation compensation to all those affected by the project in line with Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s instructions. He said the government had made a special arrangement to ensure quick transfer of funds to claimants’ accounts in collaboration with the State Bank of Pakistan. “Bank officials have confirmed that payments are being processed on priority basis and cheques are being cleared within 24 hours,” Hassan said. Such quick and transparent processing of claims was unprecedented in the country’s history, the PML-N leader said.
Hassaan said the chief minister had been personally overseeing land acquisition for the project and disbursement of compensation to those affected. He said Sharif had directed all pertinent ministers and public departments to devote great attention to the land acquisition drive and ensure timely processing of compensation claims. Hassaan said the government had earmarked a sum of Rs20 billion to finance the disbursement of relocation compensation.
‘No historic sites to be affected’
He said no historic sites would be affected during the project’s construction. “The train’s track is quite far from historic sites. It will not affect any of them,” the PML-N leader said.
Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Food Minister Bilal Yasin were also present on the occasion.
Come early to avoid delays: DCO
Separately, DCO Muhammad Usman urged those claiming to have been affected by the project to visit one-window facilitation camps in the early hours to avoid being hassled and to expedite claim processing. In a statement issued on Saturday, he said the camps tended to be packed with people by evening. The DCO said this caused unnecessary delays and left some citizens hassled.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2016.