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LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Monday inaugurated Rs659.2 million Gulab Devi Underpass and announced to name it after Abdul Sattar Edhi.

On the occasion, he also announced to build an elevated expressway project at a cost of Rs50 billion and added that Rs6.50 billion would be spent to construct multilevel entry and exit points at Shahdara Morr to resolve traffic congestion there.

Federal Minister and PTI Punjab President Shafqat Mahmood, provincial ministers Murad Raas, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Asad Khokhar and Ejaz Alam, parliamentarians, PTI leaders, Punjab government’s spokesperson Hasaan Khawar and senior officials were also present at the inauguration ceremony.

The full height three-lane underpass would ease the movement of 132,000 plus vehicles and the government claimed that through transparent tendering 60 million rupees was saved during its construction.

“The facility would also benefit the patients of Gulab Devi, Children, Social Security and General Hospitals while accommodating the thousands of citizens in their daily movement,” he said while talking to the media.

The CM also said that the Gulberg-Jail Road flyover has also been named after poet Munir Niazi. The Abdul Sattar Edhi Underpass has been completed two months before the deadline for which the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Director General and its governing body members deserve accolades. The ceremony has been held in the underpass to save public money. The Punjab government has also saved millions of rupees in every project by ensuring transparency, he asserted.

According to him, the LDA has completed four major projects worth Rs2.45 billion in Lahore, including the Lal Shehbaz Qalandar Underpass, Bab-e-Lahore, elimination of traffic congestion points at major roads and construction of pedestrians’ bridges at suitable places to ease public movement.

“Meanwhile, more than Rs9.16 billion rupees were being spent to complete three major projects in the provincial metropolis. An additional lane was being built at Lahore Bridge near Children Hospital while the work on Data Ganj Bakhsh flyover is in progress at a cost of Rs4.90 billion and 2.54 billion would be spent on Shahkam Chowk Flyover project. Alongside, the expansion of Sagian Road will be completed with Rs3.40 billion and the Main Boulevard Gulberg to Walton Road Defence Chowk will be made a signal-free corridor with Rs3 billion. An underpass and flyover at Karim Block in Iqbal Town will be built at a cost of Rs2.90 billion,” he said.

The CM pointed out that the Orange Line Metro Train project was also completed by the incumbent government by arranging necessary funding like other incomplete projects of the previous government. “The past government conceived projects without caring for the welfare of the people and subsidies to the tune of billions of rupees had to be given to run them. The public transport scheme should have been finalized after proper study. Around billion of rupees were being given to six projects as subsidies, including to Orange Line Metro Train, metro bus system and feeder route system,” he added.

To the question, the CM explained that the PTI would perform well in the second phase of KP’s local bodies’ elections. “The local bodies’ elections would be held in Punjab directly and the bill has been presented in the Assembly. The public representatives would be empowered and the government will perform well in Punjab,” he said.

To another question, he maintained that work done by Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas in his department in just three years was not done during the last 70 years. “Murad Raas has introduced important changes, such as e-transfer, e-leave and e-pension, besides upgrading 1500 schools. A total of 27,000 schools would be upgraded in the next two years,” he added.

On Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan, he said that anybody could come or go while the law would take its own course, and everything would be done in accordance with the law. “The allies are with us and nobody should be worried, as everything is okay. The journey of development would be accelerated under the leadership of Prime Minisrer Imran Khan.

Federal Minister Shafqat Mahmood regretted that loot and plunder was the norm of the day in the past while Usman Buzdar has introduced the culture of transparency and development.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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