LAHORE: The Punjab government has asked for assessment of the market and official rates of all official residences and rest houses in the province by Friday (today), sending a wave of concern in the bureaucracy which considers the huge houses, majority built by British India, a part of their administrative service package.

“The government had earlier sought information about the residences on Aug 31. Now the officials have been asked to give details of the total area of each residence, its present deputy commissioner and market rates,” said a senior official on Thursday.

“This is enough to disturb the civil servants in view of the PTI government’s declaration of doing away with palatial official residences and rest houses,” another official said.

According to a copy of the direction issued on Thursday, the civil servants had been asked to give the information by Friday (today).

Those who were asked to give the information included the provincial additional chief secretary who controls nearly 3,700 official residences only in Lahore.

Others include senior member of Board of Revenue, all administrative secretaries, IGP (asked for details of all official residences including that of RPOs, DPOs and others all over the province), all divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners.

Meanwhile, the home department is going to ban burning of solid waste, foliage, crop residue, and smoke by steel factories under Section 144 on a request by the Environment Protection Department. The ban would be imposed for next three months during which major cities in Punjab mainly Lahore have been witnessing smog for the past around three years.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2018