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imageLAHORE: Punjab cabinet here Saturday approved formally Metro Bus projects for Multan, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi-Islamabad.

Chaired by Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, the cabinet meeting decided that foundation stone of Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Project would be laid on February 28, while those in Multan and Faisalabad would be started by this year end.

The process of computerization of land record under Punjab Land Record Management Information System (LRMIS) in 36 districts of the province would also be completed by December 2014.

Shahbaz Sharif said that after the metro bus project's success in Lahore, the Punjab government had decided to launch this service in three major cities, and the Rawalpindi-Islamabad project would be completed in 11 months, while those in Multan and Faisalabad would be executed in 10 months.

He said the Rs 38 billion Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus project would start from Flashman Hotel and go up to Islamabad Secretariat, adding that 8.6km route in Rawalpindi would be elevated and 14.6km route in Islamabad would be on the ground, while, more than 150,000 people would avail this comfortable, economical and speedy transport facility daily on 60 metro buses. All projects of metro bus would be a masterpiece of standard and transparency.

The Chief Minister directed the authorities concerned that effective planning be made for maintaining traffic flow during execution of Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus project and special attention be paid to the convenience of the people, and land acquisition process be completed in a transparent manner.

He also directed for formation of a committee under Punjab Chief Secretary to supervise land acquisition and payment of compensation by visiting Rawalpindi twice a month.

The Chief Minister said that metro bus projects in Multan and Faisalabad would be constructed on the pattern of metro system of Dubai and started during the current year.

He added LRMIS was of vital importance to rid the people of corrupt Patwar culture, by providing ownership deeds to the citizens within 50 minutes. Land record computerization would be completed in 24 districts by June 2014 and the remaining 12 by December 2014, he added.

Shahbaz Sharif also directed for evolving an independent evaluation system for land record computerization project, as it would help improve the LRMIS efficiency. He said that a sum of Rs 14 billion was being spent on the project to resolve land disputes.

The Chief Minister directed the quarters concerned to constitute district committees comprising ministers and assembly members of the same districts where service centres have been completed in tehsils to monitor their performance, asserting that the project's staff recruitment must be completed in a 100 percent transparent manner.

He said that commissioners, DCOs and Revenue Officers should complete land record computerization as early as possible and no delay would be tolerated in this regard.

The Chief Minister also directed that on the pattern of LRMIS, a comprehensive programme must be evolved to computerize police stations and rapid progress be made in this direction.

Shahbaz Sharif said, the government was implementing a comprehensive strategy to deal with the challenge of energy shortage, and Punjab government had devised a programme to generate electricity from coal and six sites had been selected for installation of coal-fired power plants.

He said that local and foreign investors would be extended special facilities for setting up of coal power plants. While, Punjab government would also set up two coal-based power plants of 660 megawatt in Sahiwal, he said, citing, electricity was of fundamental importance for development of economy, agriculture and industrial sectors.

He said, Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park was being set up over 10,000 acres of land in Bahawalpur, where Punjab government would complete a 100 megawatt solar plant with its own resources this year and its feasibility had been prepared.

Work was being carried out round the clock on Nandipur power project and its first turbine would start operating in May and generate upto 150 megawatt electricity, he said and added that work on Taunsa hydel power project was also being carried out expeditiously and the 120 megawatt project would soon be completed.

The meeting also approved Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Bill 2013, and annual report of Punjab Public Service Commission for year 2012.

Briefing were given Rawalpindi Commissioner on Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus project; Planning & Development (P&D) Chairman on the LRMIS; and Energy Department's Additional Chief Secretary on coal-fire electricity project.

Provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, Chief Secretary, Punjab IGP, secretaries concerned and senior officials were also present.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2014

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