LAHORE: The Punjab government has spent Rs 425.92 million up till now for the improvement of the sewerage system in Dera Ghazi Khan. This was disclosed by Parliamentary Secretary for Housing and Urban Development and Public Health Engineering Zafar Iqbal Nagra in the Punjab Assembly on Tuesday while responding to a question about the poor sewerage system in southern Punjab.

He informed the House that more than Rs 425 million had been spent so far for the sewerage system in DG Khan and work on the project was ongoing. However, he assured the House that the project would be completed in the next two years. The mover of the question expressed his dissatisfaction over the pace of work by saying that it was very slow. To another question, Nagra told the House that provision of drinking water to the people of Faisalabad would be done by 2018 if the funds were provided frequently.

He also told the House that at present, the provision of drinking water was being ensured to 50 percent people of Faisalabad and there were several projects in the pipeline that would be initiated with the help of the Japanese government. He informed the House that the approval of some projects was also expected in 2012. The parliamentary secretary told all this while responding to queries moved by members during the question hour of the 22nd session of the Punjab Assembly held under the chair of Rana Muhammad Iqbal.

It may be mentioned here that the question hour session started some one and a half hour late from its scheduled time. When the parliamentary secretary repeatedly stated that some projects would be completed with the help of the Japanese government, the speaker could not control himself and said, “Will there ever be a time when the government initiates projects on a self-help basis.” The mover of a question, Khawaja Muhammad Islam, said that the admission of the government that only 50 percent of the people of Faisalabad were being provided drinking water was “really amazing”. Expressing dissatisfaction, he said the projects linked to the availability of funds were themselves confusing.

He drew the attention of the House to tube wells at canals, saying that the project could never deliver fruitful results as tube wells should always be established at riverbeds. The parliamentary secretary finally assured the House that the government would ensure provision of drinking water by 2018. To another question moved by Chaudhary Asadullah about the allocation of three and five marla plots to widows in Johar Town, the parliamentary secretary told the House that 170 plots had been allocated. He also informed the House that some officers were found guilty in the allotment scheme and had been brought to task. The parliamentary secretary also failed to respond to the supplementary question of PML-Q member Sheikh Allauddin about housing schemes approved by the Lahore Development Authority (LDA).

Allauddin pointed out that the answer provided to the House was not correct. Treasury member Nighat Nasir Sheikh, on a reply to the parliamentary secretary that all generators were working at disposal stations in Lahore, asked why stagnant water could be seen in many localities for many days if the disposal stations were working properly.

Source: Daily Times