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HYDERABAD, Nov 1: District Nazim Kanwar Naveed Jamil has directed officials to close Rani Bagh for visitors till the completion of development work under way there. He also urged the contractors to complete the work on schedule.

Presiding over a meeting at the district nazim secretariat on Tuesday, Mr Jamil said that the district had made an initial estimate of Rs50 million for the Rani Bagh development but later it had to raise the amount to Rs60 million after going through planning and tendering.

The estimate totalled Rs72 million after the district government added to it the additional cost of Rs12 million to be spent on purchase of animals, he said.

He said that according to the Sindh Local Government Ordinance 2002 it was the job of town municipal administration (TMA) to construct and maintain parks, playgrounds, graveyards, roads, street lights and garbage disposal but TMAs did not possess the matching resources to meet their responsibilities.

Therefore, the district government decided to help TMAs perform their duties. The district government had constructed almost all roads in Hyderabad taluka and provided 15 garbage lifting vehicles to union councils. It would give them 26 more shortly, he informed.

Since the Rani Bagh had become part of Hyderabad’s heritage the district government decided to undertake its development work from its own resources and then hand it over to the TMA of Qasimabad, the nazim said.

The district government had formed two different monitoring committees — a five-member committee headed by District Naib Nazim Zafar Rajput and a three-member executing committee headed by EDO Works Haleem Ghouri — to monitor development works, he said.

He directed contractors to give top priority to the subsurface and surface drainage system and complete other civil works in the light of chemical reports of the soil to ensure sustainability of development works.

He asked the TMA to declare the Rani Bagh except play land as prohibited area for visitors and accelerate the pace of ongoing development work.

The resident engineer of M/s Usmani Consultants, Niaz Shar, said while briefing the meeting that the Rani Bagh was spread over 57 acres of land, divided into four parts in the development plan.

The four parts included Eidgah, the Abbas Bhai Park, zoo and lawns, children parks, jogging tracks and parking area. The plan, which included renovation of the Abbas Bhai Park, repair of water fountains and construction of cages for animals, beautification of existing lake and walking tracks in the zoo, ensured effective subsurface and surface drainage network.

The nazim directed the TMA and the contractors to coordinate with each other and prepare a future plan for developing Niaz Stadium.

District Naib Nazim Zafar Rajput, Qasimabad Taluka Nazim Noor Mohammad Shoro, Naib Nazim Hyder Bux Shahani, EDO Works Abdul Haleem Ghouri, EDO Agriculture Shahabuddin Siddiqui, EDO Revenue Abdul Sattar Jatoo and Fahim Junejo attended the meeting.