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LAHORE: The Punjab government has made a strategic decision to establish nine model agricultural centres across the province.

At the divisional level, these centres are poised to become comprehensive hubs offering essential services to farmers under one roof. Facilities, including seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, agricultural machinery and equipment, will be made available to farmers at these centres.

In this connection, Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi chaired a meeting on Tuesday and deliberated on the establishment of model agricultural centres. Provincial minister SM Tanveer and senior officials were present in the meeting.

During the meeting, the CM directed the relevant officials to formulate a comprehensive plan to ensure that farmers have centralised access to a spectrum of services, emphasising the implementation of measures aimed at modernising the agricultural sector. The participants were briefed on the Okara-based model agriculture centre during the meeting.

Stressing the importance of a thorough plan, the CM urged the participants to prepare a detailed blueprint for the establishment of these model agricultural centres. Moreover, the meeting highlighted that these centres will encompass marketing and storage facilities for a variety of produce, including fruits, vegetables and other commodities. The phased programme for the establishment of model agricultural centres will extend to districts as well.

Meanwhile, the CM chaired a progress review meeting on the Walled City of Lahore Authority projects, in which the restoration of Kharak Singh’s historic mansion was discussed with plans to refurbish its rooms for tourism promotion and ensure standard facilities for tourists’ accommodation.

Naqvi directed the relevant officers to initiate the necessary steps for relocating the Rim Market and accelerating work on the Lahore Fort Cafe. The meeting also assessed progress on the restoration projects for the historical gates of Lahore and Fort Kohna Qasim Bagh in Multan.

The CM stressed for timely completion of these projects and emphasised the restoration of the wall around the historical gates to its original condition for full protection. Highlighting the historical significance of Lahore’s gates and Fort Kohna Qasim Bagh in Multan, Naqvi envisioned those becoming key attractions for tourists post-restoration.

The meeting also discussed plans to remove poles on Mall Road to restore its historical character, with post-restoration management involving the hiring of experts.

During the briefing, Walled City of Lahore Authority DG Kamran Lashari told the CM about the progress on the restoration of Bradley Hall in Lahore, a venue where notable figures like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi and Bhagat Singh have addressed. The historic Barkat Ali Islamia Hall in Lahore is also undergoing restoration. The Authority is committed to restoring 10 shrines to their historical and ancient conditions.

The meeting was attended by Provincial ministers Amir Mir, Azfar Ali Nasir and Bilal Afzal, and senior officials.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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