CHINIOT: Punjab Minister for Housing, Physical Planning and Urban Development Mahmoodur Rasheed says construction of 0.5m houses will start in Punjab during the current year under Naya Pakistan Housing Programme and sincere efforts are being made by the government for construction of five million houses as per the announcement by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He said the scope of Naya Pakistan Housing Programme would be expanded to the rural areas and 50 houses would be constructed adjacent to every village in case of availability of the state land and these houses would be provided to the homeless families on affordable prices of Rs0.5m each.

He stated this during his visit to Chiniot to review the proposed site of Naya Pakistan Housing Programme on the Faisalabad Road.

Says 50 houses to be constructed along each village

Deputy Commissioner Syed Amaan Anwar Qidwai and officers of Housing Department were also present on the occasion.

The minister directed the housing department officers and district administration to complete the departmental process without delay for initiating the housing scheme after completing the formalities.

Talking to the newsmen, Mr Rasheed said the district Chiniot had also been included in Naya Pakistan Housing Programme in the second phase and 54 acre land had been acquired at the prime location near the city for construction of 2,500 houses. He added the first phase was being started in Punjab from Renala Khurd, district Okara, Chishtian in district Bahawalnagar and district Lodhran for construction of 6,000 houses.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan will perform earth-breaking ceremonies of these projects during the third week of February and the development authorities of the big cities of Punjab had been assigned the target of construction of 100,000 houses.”

The minister said the government had earmarked funds of Rs5bn for providing Qarz-i-Hasna to the poorest for purchase of houses and they would pay back this loan through the easy installments.

“A revolving fund was also being set up by this March to provide the interest-free loan to the citizens having plot of land but facing constraints of finance,” he informed the audience.

Later, Mr Rasheed participated in a ceremony organised by a private housing colony.

Addressing the participants, he said the government was encouraging the housing sector so as it could help in generation of economic activities and creation of employment.

The minister announced that the special funds would be taken from the CM Punjab for immediate start of project to make the Chiniot-Faisalabad Road a dual carriageway. He also assured redressing the problems of Chiniot citizens, saying steps would be taken for the upgrade of health and education projects.

Developers SM Naseer, S Irfan Munir and others were present.

Published in Dawn, February 2nd, 2019

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