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DERA GHAZI KHAN: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar got several standing ovations on Friday at a gathering in Dera Ghazi Khan where he announced a score of development projects for his home district, Dera Ghazi Khan.

The much-awaited visit of the chief minister to the city after taking oath of the post brought several projects worth billions for Dera Ghazi Khan.

“I will alleviate the deprivation of south Punjab, especially of trans Indus districts Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan, as I am well aware about the problems of the common dwellers of the area,” Mr Buzdar said at the congregation of MNAs, MPAs, party leaders, bar association members, traders and notables of the area.

“Doors of my office will also remain open for the public and as well as for MPAs.”

He also visited the teaching hospital of Ghazi Khan Medical College before coming to the gathering at Circuit House. He was warmly welcomed by MPAs Hanif Khan Pitafi, Hasnain Bahadur Darishak, Ahmed Ali Dareishak and Javed Akhtar Lund. Mr Pitafi presented a charter of demands.

The chief minister said that he would bring the backward areas of south Punjab on a par with Lahore by providing equal share in development funds. “In particular, I will make Dera Ghazi Khan a real ‘Dera Phulay da Sehra’ or Dera Ghazi Khan is as beautiful as a garland of flowers,” he smiled.

Mr Buzdar said he would visit the district every month to monitor development schemes being executed in the district.

He said that Rs3 billion had been provided for the accomplishment of Muzaffargarh-Dera Ghazi Khan dual carriageway in the next two months. For the convenience of Dera Ghazi Khan city dwellers, 10 green buses would ply on city routes. A cardiology institute like the Lahore Cardiology Institute would be set up. The district will get 198,000 Insaf Health Cards. Up to Rs600 million have been released for 400 more beds at the teaching hospital of Ghazi Khan Medical College. The first floor will be made functional this month and three floors will be functional by June 30 next year. Cardiology, nephrology, gynae and other wards will be established in the hospital and its ICU will also be upgraded.

Up to 26 government medical officers have joined duty and quota of students from tribal areas is being increased in Ghazi Medical College as well. They will be able to benefit from this facility from next academic year.

A new world class university will be set up while the city technical college upgraded to university to provide standard technical training to the youth of south Punjab. The post-graduate college will be reinstated after the shifting of the Ghazi University to its own building. Up to 12 buses will be provided to the colleges of district. Also, primary schools will also be set up in different areas to provide education to the girls and play grounds and other necessary facilities will be arranged in 10 schools.

To promote sports, AstroTurf will be placed on the local hokey ground and the cricket stadium will also be upgraded where the Pakistan Cricket Board will set up training academies.

The government has released Rs5bn for the northern bypass. A Rs2bn cattle farm will be established in the area. The Fort Munro Development Authority will be converted into a Tribal Area Development Authority while special economic zones will be established in the district. Dera Ghazi Khan has been included into the Apna Gher Scheme to provide cheap and efficient housing to the local people. Up to 190 kanal will be allocated for a graveyard near Kot Sikhani Mor.

Land record computerised offices will be established in other areas of the district. Mountainous Sulaiman range has been included in a grand tourism plan. The Solid Waste Management Company will look after the district areas and Rs260m have been provided for the company. For homeless children and women, a sweet home and a women’s empower centre will be established. Small dames will also be established to tame hill torrents while five dykes will be constructed to control flooding in the district.

A community centre for families will be established on the premises of the Services Club. All abandoned water supply schemes will be restored while Rs500m have been provided for the beautification of the city. For the maternity supervision, well equipped ambulances have been given to the district health department. The new building of the Counter-Terrorism Department will be inaugurated soon.

He announced the DG Khan Airport would be expanded to accommodate international flights. He concluded his speech, saying that the dream of Imran Khan about change and a new Pakistan would be materialised.

He said that days of our deprivations were going to end and provision of facilities in all the areas of south Punjab would be ensured.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2018