CM urges early deals for ‘IT City’

Calls for annual targets, progress reports on CBD projects

Our Correspondent May 08, 2024
Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: APP/FILE


Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif has ordered finalization of deals with Chinese, South Korean and Saudi Arabian companies for the construction of the IT City in Lahore.

Chairing a meeting to have a detailed briefing on projects of the Punjab Central Business District Development Authority, she said annual targets should be set for the CBD projects and progress reports submitted accordingly.

It was agreed in the meeting that CBD Business Centres will be established in eight cities of Punjab. A proposal to establish a ‘City of Sports’ in Sialkot, besides the construction of a stadium, was also discussed in the meeting.

A decision was taken to carry out legislation for the establishment of a Real Estate Investment Trust in the province.

Progress on the development of a Silicon Cluster in the Lahore IT City Lahore was also reviewed.

The chief minister was informed that a CBD Grand Central Station will be built at Kalma Chowk. The Grand Souk Lahore with 600 shops and restaurants will also be built on Ferozepur Road.

The authorities concerned apprised the chief minister that the CBD authority will build eco-friendly blue roads on Main Boulevard.

CBD Chief Executive Officer Imran Amin presented a review report on the Quaid, Bab and Pindi District initiatives.

Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Senior Provincial Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Provincial Minister for Information and Culture Azma Zahid Bukhari, MPA Sania Ashiq and Special Assistant Zeeshan Malik attended the meeting. The chief secretary, chairman of P&D, COO of CBD, secretary of finance, principal secretary and other relevant officers were also present.

Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz also chaired a five-hour meeting of the Planning and Development Board for a detailed overview of special projects and initiatives.

She was informed that a Global IT Certificate Programme has started in Punjab. At least 4,000 youths will attend IT courses under the CM Skill Development Programme.

According to a statement, she stressed timely completion of the development projects, especially those related to health.

The chief minister issued directives to complete the first phase of the Nawaz Sharif Institute of Cancer in Lahore within a year, besides opening the OPD of the Nawaz Sharif Institute of Cardiology in Sargodha by December 2025.

She was informed that seven mega projects in the health sector were under way in the province at a cost of Rs145 billion.

”The first phase of construction and rehabilitation of rural and primary health centres will be completed in October, while revamping of major hospitals will be done by June,” she was informed.

The chief minister was informed during the briefing that five expressways on important routes in Punjab will be constructed at a cost of Rs176 billion. The construction and expansion of the Multan-Vehari, Chicha Watani-Chowk Azam, Sahiwal-Samundri, Bahawalpur-Jhangra and Faisalabad-Chiniot-Sargodha road was also reviewed in the meeting.

Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz directed the authorities to designate a single complaint number for all departments.

She was informed that the construction of a 204-bed three-storey Safe City Hostel in Lahore will start this month, and Smart Safe Cities in the districts will be functional by January 1 next year.

The officials concerned also informed the chief minister that six million saplings have been planted in Punjab during this year’s plantation campaign. A decision was taken for the GIS monitoring of the plants. Moreover, a wildlife survey will be conducted in Punjab.

Additionally, a Social Registry Survey under the Provincial Database Authority has started, which is expected to be completed next month.

An air ambulance service will start in June and a motorway ambulance service by December.

In order to modernise the public transport system, 300 eco-friendly buses will be operated in Lahore and 330 in other cities.

A proposal for the local production of electric buses was also reviewed in the meeting.

The authorities concerned told the chief minister that daycare centres will be established in government offices.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2024.



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