Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that low-cost housing scheme, Aashiyana Housing Scheme, will be the first residential scheme where low-income people and laborers will have the same basic facilities as are available to the elite, and that the scheme will be comparable with the best housing schemes of the country.

He was addressing the foundation stone laying ceremony of Aashiyana Housing Project at Suae Asal here on Saturday.

Punjab Land Development Company chairman and Member Provincial Assembly Sheikh Allauddin, different Members Provincial Assembly, the Planning & Development chairman, the Senior Member Board of Revenue, the Lahore commissioner, Director General National Logistics Cell, General Manager Sui Gas, Chief Engineer LESCO and other officers concerned were also present.

The chief minister that he would personally monitor the project for the welfare of the poor, ensure its early completion. He said that a comprehensive program had been evolved for the provision of residential facilities as well as generation of job opportunities in the first Aashiyana Housing Scheme at Suae Asal. Separate land had been specified for cottage industry so that the labourers could have job opportunities near their homes, he added.

The chief minister said that launching of low-cost housing scheme in the province was a revolutionary step of the government which would help the poor realise their dream of having their own house. He said that Aashiyana Housing Project would be the first residential scheme for the common man, adding that it would have not only a high standard construction work but also schools, dispensaries, playgrounds for cricket, hockey and other sports as well as all necessary facilities.

To a question if the housing scheme would continue in case of a political change in the country, the CM said that he was not a clairvoyant but he was not seeing any such change in the country.

According to a handout here on Saturday, he said that, if given a chance by Allah Almighty, he would complete the housing scheme, for the poor and the laborers under his own supervision.

Lauds law enforcers: The chief minister said that the maintenance of law and order during Ashura in the present circumstances was a challenge but, due to cooperation of law enforcement forces, the administration, Ulema, elected representatives and the general public, peace and tranquility prevailed in the province and no untoward incident was reported.

He said that all institutions which performed duties with regard to maintenance of law and order, religious harmony and brotherhood during Muharram-ul-Haram deserved credit for their performance.

He also commended the efforts of the cabinet committee headed by Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa and its members, including Senior Provincial Minister Raja Riaz Ahmad, Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah Khan, Chief Secretary Nasir Mehmood Khan Khosa, Home Secretary Shahid Khan and Inspector General Police Tariq Saleem for making effective security arrangements.