No ticket, parking fee to enter parks

LAHORE - In another effort to provide relief to the general public, Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday abolished entry ticket and parking-fee for the visitors of recreational parks across the province. Sources said the chief minister has also ordered the officials to cancel the contracts of all the contractors with immediate effect, thus no entry ticket or parking fee will be charged from the visitors of parks throughout the province. The sources further revealed that the chief minister had ordered the abolition of entry ticket and parking-fee after receiving a great number of complaints of overcharging at the public parks. It is important to mention here that the parking-fee for the visitors of public hospitals has already been abolished in the City. According to the sources, after the abolition of parking-fee now these parking areas would be looked after by the concerned police station. The police sources said that it would further enhance responsibilities of security officials and burden on the department, already facing staff shortage. The Lahorites have also demanded the chief minister to abolish all kinds of parking-fee at the public places, commercial markets and shopping areas in the City to provide more relief to masses. According to the officials, thousands of people particularly students from all over the country visit recreational parks like Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Shalamar Garden and Race Course generally everyday and particularly every Sunday. "It is a gift for the low-income people in this time of price-hike," an official of the PHA said. "Its really a good news. Now we will roam in the City parks free of cost," commented 16-year-old Ahsan Ali, a resident of Iqbal Town. Nasrin Bibi, a housewife from Baghbanpura area, also lauded the announcement and said that it would provide relief to the families. She said that it would also help eliminate the culture of overcharging at the parks. "The contractors overcharge at the parking lots set up adjacent to the recreational parks especially on Sunday, which often lead to scuffles at the public places," she added. According to officials, the chief minister issued these orders while presiding over a high-level meeting here on Saturday. Chairman Task Force, Kh Ahmad Hassan, Mustafa Kamal and Director General PHA were also present on the occasion. "Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has abolished entry-ticket for all recreational parks of the province with immediate effect whereas no parking fee will be charged in the parking areas adjacent to the parks," an official said, adding the orders would be implemented from Sunday (today). According to the officials, the chief minister on this occasion said that government is taking effective measures for the promotion of healthy recreational activities and free entry into parks is a gift for the people who are disturbed by the price-hike. They further said that according to the CM's directions the concerned police station would look after the vehicles and motorbikes at the parking lots in the absence of parking agents and contractors. Meanwhile, the chief minister has taken strict notice of illegal parking area on Zafar Ali Road, Gulberg and directed the DCO Lahore to take stern action against the persons responsible. He said that Zafar Ali Road was widened for streamlining the flow of traffic but it has been turned into a parking area.

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