BAHAWALPUR: The South Punjab Secretariat has been set up at the local Circuit House as a board depicting the establishment of the secretariat was installed outside the Circuit House on Ahmedpur East Highway on Wednesday.

The establishment of the secretariat and the installation of its office board was a surprise for the local residents. A majority of locals welcomed the secretariat through social media posts who described the establishment of the secretariat as a step forward towards the creation of the proposed South Punjab province.

Dawn learnt that the Circuit House will serve as South Punjab Secretariat temporarily till the establishment/construction of a permanent secretariat here. The additional chief secretary (ACS) who assumed charge here in the beginning of July announced sitting in his Bahawalpur office for three days a week while he will also work for another three days in his Multan secretariat.

Earlier, the ASC two weeks ago inspected a number of buildings of the government offices for the establishment of the secretariat.

As regards the permanent establishment and construction of South Punjab Secretariat here, the district administration identified two sites for the proposed secretariat.

According to an official of the DC office, these two sites included a former site for the construction of Danish School at village 10/BC (about 10 kms from the city) and the site for the government agriculture farm on Ahmedpur East highway. The official told dawn that both sites were on over 200 acres each. The official said the ACS would select the site for the construction of the proposed permanent secretariat, for which Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has allocated Rs4 billion.

RAIN: As the rain continued in the city and suburbs till late on Tuesday for the second consecutive day, heavy rain also lashed Cholistan.

The heavy downpour first of the monsoon season helped to accumulate water in the ponds in the desert, where thousands of inhabitants and their herds would be able to meet water needs.

District Forest Officer Ijaz Tabbasum of the Cholistan Range Management, Bahawalpur, confirmed to Dawn that last night’s torrential rain filled up ponds. He added that the reports pouring in from Cholistan claimed that local people were jubilant over the downpour received during night time.

RAPE: Dhoorekote police near Ahmedpur East booked a man and his two accomplices on Wednesday for allegedly raping an 11-year-old challenged boy in village Aminnagar of Khairpr Daha area.

According to the complainant, his son was subjected to sexual assault by a suspect while his one accomplice shot the video and a third one remained outside and guarded the premises. The police did not confirm their arrests.

Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2020

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