LAHORE: The City District Government Lahore has taken stern action according to the instructions of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer against the tandoors selling expensive roti (bread) despite the timely provision of subsidised flour.

Officials, including town municipal officers (TMOs) and town inspectors, registered first information reports (FIRs) against a number of tandoor owners across the city on Friday for violating the sasti roti scheme and selling roti for Rs 3 or Rs 4. Wagah Town Nazim Khalid Ghurki told Daily Times that the governor had formed a high-level committee to ensure the transparent provision of subsidised roti to poor citizens.

Ghurki said violation of the rule could be an act of political sabotage against the current setup. He said a committee formed by the governor would find out how many tandoors were registered by the province’s former rulers. He claimed that most of the tandoors registered by the previous government were bogus and the committee would probe the matter and register the tandoors again. He said the government was spending around Rs 10 million every day on flour subsidy. He said the committee would also check possible embezzlement in the project.

Data Gunj Bakhsh Town Nazim Tariq Sana Bajwa said all the TMOs and district coordination officers (DCOs) appointed by the previous rulers were politically affiliated with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). He said the TMOs and DCOs used to act like PML-N workers, and it was quite likely that they would try to hinder the current government to gain political mileage. He urged the committee formed by the governor to probe the issue, and asked that fresh appointments be made in the offices for the welfare of the people.

Gulberg Town TMO Syed Ali Abbas Bukhari told Daily Times that inspectors conducted multiple raids on tandoors across the city and lodged FIRs against 15 tandoor owners for selling roti at a higher rate than fixed by the government. He said the town administation had received dozens of complaints against tandoors selling roti for Rs 3 or Rs 4.

He said there was no reason for expensive roti after the governor had announced to continue the subsidy on flour for tandoors.

Bukhari said town officials had issued challans to tandoors in Gulberg, Model Town, Garden Town and Garhi Shahu areas, and had registered FIRs against the owners for further action. He said some of the arrested tandoor owners could have been selling roti in order to sabotage the government. However, he said greed for maximum profit might be the main reason. Bukhari said the town administration had set up a complaint cell and residents could call the phone numbers (9263271-6) and register complaints. He said no violators of the law would be spared.

Shalimar Town TMO Tariq Mehmood said there were 17 union councils in the town and he made seven teams to inspect the current prices of roti. He said the teams had registered two FIRs against tandoor owners. He said there was no way that the authorities would let the tandoor owners challenge the writ of government. The TMO rejected the charge of political affiliation with the previous rulers, and said the district government officials were performing their duties honestly.

Source: Daily Times