LAHORE- Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has constituted a two-member team to identify the discrepancies in Ashiana Housing Scheme, well placed sources in the Punjab government confided to The Nation on Saturday.
The team would draw its members from the Chief Minister’s Inspection Team (CMIT).
The chief minister had directed to start the said project under the umbrella of the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) to provide residences to the shelter-less during his previous tenure.
The PLDC launched Ashiana Housing project in the various cities of Punjab, including Lahore, Sahiwal, Jhelum, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Chiniot and Kasur. The Jers Engineering Consultants (JEC) had to provide services for planning, design, construction and supervision of the project.
The chief minister received complaints about faulty construction so he formed a two-member committee to monitor the process of selection of private firms for identification of structural deficiencies in different projects of the PLDC, especially Ashiana-e-Quaid.
The committee has also been tasked with monitoring the engineering process adopted by the selected firms. The committee – comprised of Najam Saeed, former CMIT chairman, and Akbar Ali, a CMIT member – has been directed to submit a report from the inception to submission of the final report by the department.
When contacted PLDC chairman Sheikh Allauddin said, “Yes, an inquiry has been started on my request and it will be finalized within a couple of days”. He said although he had resigned from his office on March 14 last year due to the general elections, he was again given the responsibility again afterwards.
He said there were several reasons for the inquiry that included delays in completion of the projects, after completion certain people could not maintain their houses, some people complained about poor construction. He said the project in Lahore was completed while schemes in Faisalabad and Sahiwal would be completed within a few days, and homes would be handed over to those entitled.
In Sahiwal, the project spreads over an area of 55 acres. Three marla houses and residential plots of three and five marlas have been provided in the scheme.
In Faisalabad the project is planned in two phases. In the first phase, ten acres land is being developed. The project is being developed on Jaranwala Road and includes three marla houses. In Jhelum, 98 acres land is included in the project located on GT Road. The project spreads over an area of 45 acres in Sargodha.
In Lahore, Attari Saroba, the JEC has designed public buildings and amenities for the project. These include mosques, sector shops, PLDC office, community centre, commercial areas, parks, bus bay, fire station, etc. Resident supervision of these projects is also included in the scope.
In Chiniot, the scheme spans over an area of 213 kanals with over 600 housing units. The JEC is responsible to carry out planning, architectural design, infrastructure and construction supervision of the project.
The PLDC planned to develop Ashiana Housing Scheme in Kasur on an area of 230 kanals with over 600 housing units. Here also the JEC is responsible to carry out planning, architectural design, infrastructure design and construction supervision of the project. Every scheme is comprised of commercial centres, schools, mosques and community buildings.