Greater Iqbal Park Project – the renovation and landscaping of Minar-i-Pakistan and the additional area of Circular Gardens – will be monumental in highlighting the Pakistan Movement and its historical significance, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said at a meeting to review the project on Thursday. The project is expected to cost Rs403.686 million.
The chief minister said that there would be no compromise on the state-of-the-art project and a separate authority would be set up to oversee its implementation. He said work on the park must be carried out without delay and no extension would be granted.
Sharif said the park would have a museum to pay tribute to the Pakistan Movement. It will carry pictures and memorabilia of the heroes of the movement.
Special programmes highlighting the aims and objectives of the movement will be held at the museum as well.
There will be recreational facilities for visitors at the park, he said, including a train ride and a horse buggy tour.
A special play place for children will be constructed as well as an open-air gymnasium for fitness enthusiasts, he said.
Modern and classical elements will be incorporated in the landscaping, he said.
All aspects of the project will be outsourced, the chief minister said, and a third-party audit would ensure transparency and maintain high standards.
Sharif said the Greater Iqbal Park Project would not only play an important role in highlighting the culture and historical heritage of Lahore but would also help inform new generations about the importance of the Pakistan Movement and the efforts and sacrifices made by national heroes.
Turkish experts present at the meeting lauded the idea saying it was a splendid way to present the heritage of Pakistan to younger generations.
Lahore Transport Company Chairman Khawaja Ahmed Hassaan, Punjab Horticultural Authority Vice Chairman Iftikhar Ahmed, the Lahore Walled City Project director general and the housing secretary also attended the meeting.
Safe drinking water for all
Presiding over a meeting to review progress on the Punjab Saaf Paani Project, Sharif said access to potable water was a right of every citizen.
He said the project was directly linked to the quality of health of the masses and was, therefore, of vital importance.
The government has allocated Rs70 billion for the project which will stretch over three years. He said Rs11 billion out of that would be spent to provide safe drinking water to the people of four districts – Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalnagar and Lodhran – in the current fiscal year. He said the project would impact the lives of 40 million people in villages.
He gave directions for a dashboard for the project to be prepared and digital mapping of the entire project to be carried out. He said that he would not allow an extension for the period fixed for the project.
Minister for Finance Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, MNA Hamza Shahbaz, and the Planning and Development secretary were also present in the meeting.
The chief minister also presided over a high-level meeting to review proposals for reforms in police system and the thana culture.
He said protection of property and life was the primary responsibility of the police.
He directed the cabinet committee to review the proposals and submit final recommendations on them in a week.
Various proposals regarding reforms in the police system were presented at the meeting and were considered in detail. Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah Khan, MNA Hamza Shahbaz, Special Assistant Rana Maqbool Ahmed, MPA Zaeem Hussain Qadri, the chief secretary, and the inspector general of police were present at the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2015.
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