LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif separately presided over meetings, yesterday approved widening of road from Thokar Niaz Beg to Hadiara Drain and beatifying big cities across Punjab with plantation and other accessories.

The meeting which reviewed the progress on the projects of infrastructure, noted importance of widening Thokar Niaz Beg to Hadiarah, about 16kms, for smooth flow of traffic entering the city from South Punjab and other cities.

The project is a part of the government plan to develop quality infrastructure as means to rapid development. The estimated cost on widening the road is likely to run into billions which the government claims would be spent transparently, without compromising with the standard and speedy completion the project.

The chief minister told the meeting that communication means are being improved all over the province through a solid and coordinated strategy as it is vital to promote socio-economic and trade activities.

He said masterpieces of infrastructure have been completed expeditiously throughout the province where new era of development has ushered in.

The meeting held to beautify the cities of Punjab examined various steps to meet the purpose. The meeting mainly focused on plantation in cities for which it supported wide scale plantation of trees, saplings and flowers which it would also help eliminate pollution side by side beautifying the cities.

The beautification of the big cities is also set to attract foreign investment for conducive and pollution free atmosphere is hugely appreciated. Lahore falls in the priority in the project.

The Chief Minister speaking to the participants directed to them for adopting speedy measures make the cities green with plants and trees and colourful with flowers or all sorts. He said besides plantation of saplings under tree plantation campaign, their care is also equally essential, for which, effective steps need to be taken. The Chief Minister said that the work should be carried out keeping in view the uniqueness and innovation for enhancing the beauty of cities through horticulture and cooperative housing societies should also be bound for promoting tree plantation. Shehbaz Sharif directed that setting up of a training institution of horticulture should be considered and the recommendations be presented. He said that construction of swimming pools for men and women in cities should be considered. He said that the tree plantation campaign should be launched vigorously during current month and a final plan be submitted in this regard. He said that there should be maximum recreational spots for the people in the present situation. He said that seven picnic points should be set up from Harbanspura to Jallo for this purpose and play areas for the recreation of the children will be established in these picnic points.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said uplift of the rural and backward areas of the province is the top priority of the government.

The dream of development and prosperity of the people cannot be realised unless equal opportunities are offered to the people across the province to let the best come up, the Chief Minister said while talking to Party MNA Awais Ahmad Leghari who called on him here yesterday and discussed ongoing welfare projects for the people of South Punjab.

The chief minister said billions of rupees are being spent on the development of South Punjab and the welfare of their people. Work is speedily going on the Metro Bus Project Multan while projects for providing potable water and modern roads are fast under completion, the chief minister said.

He said Metro Bus will provide traveling facilities of international standard at nominal fare. He said that the knowledge centers like Daanish Schools have also been setup in south Punjab which are playing important role in promoting education in the area.

He said that quality treatment facilities are also being provided to the people of south Punjab through mobile health units at their doorstep. He said that a hospital equipped with latest facilities has been setup in Bahawalpur whereas the most modern Recep Tayyip Ardogan hospital established with the cooperation of Turkey in Muzaffargarh is providing best treatment facilities to the people.

Shahbaz Sharif said that billions of rupees are being spent on the construction and rehabilitation of rural roads under “Khadim -e-Punjab Rural Roads Program”.

The chief minister said that the government is also paying full attention to the uplift of backward areas and is pursuing a balanced policy for the development of the rural and urban areas.