Punjab govt approves two new districts

April 19, 2019

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Governor’s hometown Pirmahal and Chishtian are being upgraded. ─ File photo
Governor’s hometown Pirmahal and Chishtian are being upgraded. ─ File photo

LAHORE: Facing financial crunch in administrative matters, the Punjab government is learnt to have approved creation of two new districts, one on the recommendation of Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, and more new districts and divisions are on the anvil.

According to insiders on Thursday, it has been decided to declare Pirmahal tehsil in Toba Tek Singh, the hometown of the governor, a new district.

In terms of area and population, Pirmahal is the smallest tehsil of Toba Tek Singh district. It was given the status of tehsil in 2013.

As many Pakistani expatriates belong to this tehsil, this is stated to be an “additional qualification” for its upgrade in addition to the recommendation by the governor, insiders said.

Approval has also been given to declare Chishtian in Bahawalnagar district a new district, officials say. The tehsil has major grain and vegetable and fruit markets.

Governor’s hometown Pirmahal and Chishtian are being upgraded

Officials said the authorities were actively considering to declare Bhakkar a new division. After formal approval, the Bhakkar division will comprise Bhakkar, Mianwali and Layyah districts.

At present, Bhakkar is a district of Sargodha division whereas Layyah is part of Dera Ghazi Khan division.

The districts in the new division are on the verge of central and south Punjab and are backward. The government is also establishing University of Bhakkar which, officials said, indicated the creation of Bhakkar division. The province has at present nine divisions.

Turning Taunsa, the hometown of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, into a new district is also under active consideration. It is a tehsil of Dera Ghazi Khan.

Jampur’s small town Dajil too is being given the status of a tehsil. Jampur is a tehsil of Rajanpur district.

Officials said more districts and tehsils could be created in the province after the fresh local government elections under a new law which is being finalised by the provincial government. They said the Board of Revenue would decide technicalities of the new districts including their revenue, police, legal and administrative jurisdictions.

How this plan of new administrative units will materialise in terms of finances and infrastructure is not yet clear. Official sources said Nankana Sahib, Chiniot and Hafizabad still face manpower and infrastructure issues several years after their upgrade as district headquarters.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2019