BAHAWALPUR: The Saddar complex in front of Baghdadul Jadid police station has been vacated to accommodate the offices of two south Punjab secretaries.

The building will be part of the south Punjab secretariat, headed by an additional chief secretary (ACS), and house the offices of south Punjab planning and development (P&D) and finance secretaries that are expected to become functional soon.

Earlier, three departments were housed in the Saddar complex, including the tehsil assistant commissioner (AC), Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) director general (DG) and Bahawalpur Development Authority (BDA).

The offices of the Saddar AC and PHA DG had been shifted to the buildings of the defunct district council on Railway Road and housing and physical planning agency director in Satellite Town, respectively.

The south Punjab secretariat’s health department -- with the secretary as its head -- may be accommodated in the local health directorate, about which the south Punjab ACS secretariat has already sought details and a decision was expected soon. Similarly, official sources told Dawn, the offices of other south Punjab departments would be established temporarily on the premises of other government department till the construction of a permanent south Punjab secretariat, which could take years.

Meanwhile, divisional Commissioner Asif Iqbal Chaudhry at a function here on Saturday hoped that the south Punjab secretariat would not only help end the deprivations of people, but also help support local talent in every sector. He added that fine arts would be promoted here.

He also said that the promotion of regional languages was one of the priorities of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and this region was the cradle of literature, culture and civilization, hence the artistes of this region enjoyed their own identification.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2020

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