LAHORE - The Punjab cabinet on Saturday formally approved Metro bus projects in Multan, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi-Islamabad. The foundation stone of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro bus project worth Rs 38 billion will be laid on February 28 while those of Multan and Faisalabad by the end of the current year. The cabinet also approved completion of the computerisation of land record under Punjab Land Record Management Information System in 36 districts of the province by the end of December. The meeting also gave approval to Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Bill 2013 and annual report of Punjab Public Service Commission for 2012.The cabinet committee meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and attended by provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, the chief secretary, the inspector general of police, secretaries concerned and senior officials. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif told the meeting that after a successful metro bus project in Lahore, the decision had been taken to launch the same projects in three major cities, Multan, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi. He said Rawalpindi-Islamabad project would be completed in 11 months while those of Multan and Faisalabad would be executed in 10 months. The Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus project would start from Flashman Hotel and go up to Islamabad Secretariat, the CM said. He told the meeting that 8.6-km-long route of the metro bus in Rawalpindi would be elevated while it would be 14.6km in Islamabad. The project would cost a total amount of Rs 38 billion and more than 150,000 people would benefit from comfortable, economical and speedy transport facilities daily. As many as 60 metro buses would be plied on the route of Rawalpindi-Islamabad, he revealed. The chief minister said the project would be completed speedily, transparently and within the timeframe. He directed the authorities concerned to prepare an effective plan for maintaining the flow of traffic during the process of the project completion. He said there should be no inconvenience to the citizens during that period. The CM also directed the authorities to observe complete transparency and fair play in the acquisition of land for the project. For this purpose, he issued instructions to form a committee under the chairmanship of the Punjab chief secretary. The committee would supervise the process of acquisition of land and payment of compensation by visiting Rawalpindi twice a month. He said work would be carried out round the clock for the completion of the project within the stipulated period. The CM said the metro bus projects in Multan and Faisalabad would be constructed on the pattern of metro system in Dubai. About the Land Record Management Information System (LRMIS), the chief minister said this vital scheme would rid the people of the patwari mafia and enable them to have access to their property record through computer within minutes anywhere in the province. He said the process of land record computerisation would be completed in 24 districts of the province by June 2014 and by December 2014 in the remaining 12. The chief minister ordered an independent evaluation system for land record computerisation project and said it would help improve the efficiency of LRMIS. He disclosed Rs 14 billion were being spent on this project which would go a long way in resolving land disputes. He ordered formation of district committees comprising ministers and assembly members of the same districts where service centres had been completed in tehsils to monitor their performance. He warned the officers of stern action if they failed to complete computerisation of the record within time. He directed the authorities to evolve a comprehensive programme to computerise record of police stations rapidly on the pattern of land record computerisation project.Counting shortage of energy a big challenge to the government, the chief minister said the Punjab government had devised a comprehensive programme of generation of electricity from coal and six sites had been selected for installation of coal-fired power plants. He said local and foreign investors would be extended special facilities for setting up coal power plants. Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park was being set up over 10,000 acres of land in Bahawalpur where the Punjab government would establish a 100MW solar plant with its own resources and its feasibility had been prepared, he averred, adding the project would be completed during the current year. He affirmed the work was being carried out round the clock on Nandipur power project and its first turbine would start operating in May and generate up to 150MW electricity. Work on Taunsa Hydel Power Project was also being carried out expeditiously. The Rawalpindi commissioner gave a briefing on Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus project, the Planning & Development chairman on Land Record Management Information System and the additional chief secretary on energy from coal-fired electricity project.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 02-Feb-2014 here.