GUJRAT: The Punjab government on Wednesday formally notified Gujrat as a 10th division of the province.

Gujrat division will consist of three districts -- Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin and Hafizabad -- as per a notification issued by the senior member Board of Revenue (BoR) after the approval of the Punjab governor.

The new division has been created by bifurcating the existing Gujranwala division, the largest one comprising six districts, having a total population of around 16 million, said a senior administrative official talking to Dawn.

He gave credit for the creation of the new division to Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and MNA Moonis Elahi, who played a vital role in the upgrade of their hometown to divisional headquarters.

Gujrat Deputy Commissioner Amer Shahzad Kang said a piece of land measuring 73 acres had been identified near Machiana village for the establishment of the divisional headquarters offices and residences of the government employees and officers to be posted here.

Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR) Zahid Aktar Zaman had inspected the site proposed site for the divisional offices three days ago. Mr Zaman, who was also accompanied by Gujranwala Commissioner Mansoor Qadir was briefed by the DC and other concerned officers about the development plan for the site.

The proposed site is located near Kunjah and Mandi Bahauddin. However, the road linking Hafizabad with Mandi Bahauddin and Gujrat districts from Maano Chak canal is in a pathetic condition and will have to be repaired or reconstructed to facilitate the commuters.

Moreover, the site for the divisional headquarters is located in an area where some mega infrastructural development projects are already underway, including Phase II of the industrial estate, Samman-Dinga road project.

The local administration and land revenue department have also prepared proposals for the creation of two new tehsils out of Gujrat -- Jalalpur Jattan and Kunjah -- which may also be upgraded in near future, says official. Most of the homework for the creation of two new tehsils has already been completed, he says, adding that Jalalpur Jattan may get upgraded first.

PML-Q Punjab information secretary and former education minister Mian Imran Masood said his party had fulfilled the promise of upgrade of Gujrat district to divisional level that would have far reaching impact on the lives of the people of the entire region.

A source said Wazirabad tehsil of Gujranwala division may also be given the status of a district, that would be later included in Gujrat division, as Punjab government had ordered the concerned authorities to initiate work in this regard.

Meanwhile, scores of the Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) workers staged a protest demonstration in Hafizabad against the inclusion of the district into the new division.

The PTI workers also blocked a city road by burning tyres and chanted slogans against the Punjab government’s decision.

Sources said the lone MNA from Hafizabad, Shaukat Bhatti of the PTI and some other party lawmakers raised the issue with the senior party leaders, expressing concern over the inclusion of Hafizabad district in the new division.

They say that Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi has been trying to address the concerns of the PTI

lawmakers from Hafizabad, assuring them of infrastructural development of their district.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2022

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