LAHORE: Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif has sanctioned a special development package of Rs 2,770 million for Bahawalpur division to mitigate the demand of a separate province in southern Punjab, sources said.Sources said the CM would conduct a two-day official visit of the division from Tuesday, while the chief secretary, along with 21 provincial secretaries, reached the area yesterday (Monday).

Sources said the CM would inaugurate some new projects and approve 11 development schemes for the division during his visit.

Development: The development package includes 11 schemes as prioritised by the Bahawalpur commission and the provincial secretaries concerned. The schemes include a 300-bed hospital (Rs 1,462 million), vocational institute (Rs 48 million), veterinary colleges (Rs 680 million), additional circular road (Rs 60 million), refurbishing of polytechnic institute (Rs 10 million), establishment of teacher training institute (Rs 60 million), construction of a working women’s hostel (Rs 45 million), a rice research institute at Bahawalnagar (Rs 100 million), a drug testing laboratory (Rs 100 million) and the Sutlej River Lake Park (Rs 200 million).

The chief minister would also provide financial assistance of Rs 5.5 million for the construction of the Bahawalpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Demand: Sources said the special package had been sanctioned to minimise the miseries of the neglected inhabitants of southern Punjab and to mitigate the demand in parliament for a separate province.

During the tour, the CM would meet all the parliamentarians of the division to discuss development of the region, sources said. The provincial secretaries would provide presentations to the chief secretary about the development schemes of the departments concerned.

The visit was planned on the request of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Saud Majeed, sources said.

Source: Daily Times