Punjab govt bans public rallies at Greater Iqbal Park

Published May 29, 2022
The morning after PTI's "historic" Lahore rally at Minar-e-Pakistan on April 23. — White Star
The morning after PTI's "historic" Lahore rally at Minar-e-Pakistan on April 23. — White Star

LAHORE: Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz has given approval to impose a ban on holding rallies in the Greater Iqbal Park, saying that the use of this historical park for holding public rallies is inappropriate.

The CM refused the proposal to slap entry fee in the park, calling it the park of the poor. He said the government would not impose an entry fee in the park under any circumstance.

The decision was made in a meeting of the Parks & Horticulture Authority presided over by the CM.

According to a notification issued by the Lahore DC, the ban on any political or other form of fathering had been imposed keeping in view the maintenance and upkeep of the park.

“In order to preserve public peace and for the protection of the park, I, Muhammad Umer Sher, DC, exercise the powers conferred upon me and declare that any political or other form of gatherings at the park is banned forthwith,” the notification said.

CM gives nod, terming use of park for rallies inappropriate

In the meeting, Hamza expressed his anger for not timely buying seeds of the plants for parks in the previous government’s tenure and ordered an inquiry into it. He directed the officials to expedite planting of trees, plants and grass on the empty spaces and added that the PHA board should be constituted at the earliest.

The CM directed to immediately call back the gardeners working at (officers’) homes, saying that a zero-tolerance policy should be adopted in this regard. He said empty lands should be identified in South Punjab and a plan to plant trees, plants and grass there should also be formulated.

He directed the officials to make the Butterfly House at Jallo Botanical Park functional. He disclosed the PHA matters would be run transparently in his tenure.

METROBUS: Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz also approved restoration of the Metrobus Service infrastructure and presided over a meeting in which the subject was reviewed.

Calling the metrobus as the right of the common people, he said the public welfare project was badly ignored during the government of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

He directed that the mechanism to update the passengers through loudspeakers be chalked out to inform them about the movement of buses plying on the road.

He directed the authorities concerned to ascertain the priorities regarding restoring the Lahore Metrobus Service infrastructure and asked them to complete the restoration work in the stipulated time.

The CM warned that he would not make any compromise on the quality of restoration work and said that the matter of infrastructure restoration work be moved forward expeditiously under the rules and regulations. He sought better cleanliness arrangements on the metrobus service and completion of the project before the arrival of the monsoon season.

Hamza disclosed that the matters to install air coolers along with fans in the waiting areas should also be reviewed on a priority basis.

He sought a comprehensive plan for exploring revenue generation opportunities from the stations and corridors.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2022

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