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LAHORE: The Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) has identified 19 public parks in the city having a vulnerable security system, suggesting enhanced security for them.

It has moved a summary to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who heads the PHA’s board of directors, and sought Rs160m for the provision of security in all such parks.

“After a detailed survey, especially in view of the security, we have identified 19 parks in the city which, we believe, a majority of people visit on a daily basis. These public places require enhanced security,” PHA Director General Mian Shakeel told Dawn on Thursday.

The identified parks include Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park, Racecourse Park, Bagh-i-Jinnah, Jallo Botanical Garden (Canal Road), Ideal Park (Township), National Bank Park (Gulberg’s Main Boulevard), Nasser Bagh, five ladies’ parks at Sabzazar, Gujjarpura, Tajpura, Township and Johar Town, Gol Bagh (Shadbagh), Gol Bagh (Ravi Road), Farakhabad Park (Shahdara) and Shahdara Sports Complex.

Mr Shakeel said the procedure for approval of summary, transfer of funds, etc, would took time that’s why the PHA had started the process to increase security arrangements with immediate effect with official permission.

“We have started work, such as tendering and contracting with some funds we already have,” he explained.

The DG said the parks had been divided into two categories, adding that five major public parks, Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park, Racecourse, Bagh-i-Jinnah, Jallo Botanical Garden (Canal Road) and Ideal Park (Township), fell into category A.

“Such parks will have walk-through gates, security wire on walls, CCTV cameras, iron barriers, private security guards at gates besides PHA’s own guards for inside areas.”

The rest of the parks will have security wire, visitors checking through metal detectors, CCTV cameras and PHA’s own guards’ deployment at entry gates, Mr Shakeel added.

He said PHA guards would get special security training from professional security agencies, adding that the public parks would have a foolproof security system to avoid any untoward incidents.

LTC: The Lahore Transport Company on Thursday launched a training programme for drivers of low-occupancy vehicles (wagons and mini-buses).

According to a spokesman, the drivers will be educated and guided by officials of operations and enforcement departments of LTC under the supervision of Motor Mobile Patrolling Inspectors (MMPIs).

“The training will focus on the proper observance of traffic rules and regulations particularly their conduct with commuters on the roads, courteous conduct with passengers, observance of traffic signals, signboards, plying of vehicles on designated route, necessary documents including route permit and fitness certificate to drive the vehicle.”

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2016