LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday formally inaugurated “Khadim-e-Punjab Daihi Roads Programme” which is the biggest project of repair and construction of rural roads in the history of Pakistan.

Under this project, all rural roads of the province will be repaired and reconstructed in a phased manner during the next three years at a cost of Rs 150 billion.

The chief minister inaugurated repair and reconstruction work of 8-kilometer long Ladheke Bhullar to Pando Road in Suey Aasal area of district Kasur under this programme and also prayed for the success of this splendid project.

Talking to media after inaugurating the programme, the chief minister said that a historic project of repair and reconstruction of rural roads has been started which will cost billions of rupees. He said that a huge sum of Rs15 billion has been allocated in the current year for the repair and construction of 2,000 kilometers long roads of the rural areas.

He said that the programme is aimed at laying a network of rural roads in all districts of the province and under this project such roads will be repaired and reconstructed as were in a dilapidated condition for the last several decades. He said that under this programme the width of roads of rural areas will be increased from 10 feet to 12 feet and after including shoulders their total width will become 24 feet. He said that the roads to be constructed under this programme will be fully carpeted.

“This splendid and historic project is aimed at strengthening of rural economy and will directly benefit farmers and dwellers of villages. This project will bring a revolution in rural economy while thousands of new jobs opportunities will also be created,” the CM held.

He said that this programme has been started with the vision to provide maximum facilities to the farmers, cultivators and people of villages and will prove to be a milestone in the progress and prosperity of rural areas. He said that this project will also benefit the farmers due to development of agriculture sector while the villagers will have a better access to schools, colleges, hospitals and other places.

Shahbaz Sharif said that this project would lead to ensuring fruits of social and economic development to the rural populace. He further said that he had formally inaugurated Khadim-e-Punjab Daihi Roads Programme while this project was being launched by the members of national and provincial assemblies belonging to Pakistan Muslim League-N in their respective areas.

He said that a high standard of all roads to be construed and repaired under this programme will be ensured and third party audit will be compulsory before making payments to the contractors. He said that contractors have been selected transparently for this project and it is hoped that they will work with honesty, commitment and dedication and pay special attention to the construction work of roads.

The chief minister announced that three best contractors for this programme would be fully encouraged and given cash prizes and commendatory certificates while their labour would also be rewarded. Similarly, ten best engineers would also be extended encouragement and given cash prizes and commendatory certificates. However, he warned, anyone involved in malpractices would be strictly punished as the funds to be utilised on this project are hard-earned money of masses and no irregularity or misuse can be tolerated.

Shahbaz Sharif directed Provincial Minister for Communication & Works, Secretary C&W and field officers to personally supervise the programme and perform their responsibilities efficiently.

The chief minister further said that he would personally monitor this flagship programme and pay surprise visits to judge the standard of construction work as no compromise could be made on quality and transparency. He further said that a high standard besides transparency will be ensured in the implementation of this programme as has been the policy of the government during the last seven years.

He said that such programmes will be forwarded in Punjab and the principle of honesty, hard work and dedication will be followed as it is the secret of progress and prosperity of nations. He said that there is no room for lip-service, laxity or dereliction.

He said that it is a fact that only those nations achieve respect and honour as have a strong economy and Pakistan will also be made a prosperous and independent country.

The chief minister also thanked provincial cabinet as well as political and administrative team of Punjab for working very hard for evolving this programme. He also congratulated Provincial Minister for Communication and works, Chief Secretary, Secretary C&W, Director General LDA and other concerned officers for giving a practical shape to the idea of Khadim-e-Punjab Daihi Roads Programme.

Secretary Communication & Works gave a detailed briefing to the Chief Minister after inauguration of the programme and apprised him of its aims and objectives.

Provincial Minister for Communication and Works, Minister for Food, Members National and Provincial Assemblies, workers of Pakistan Muslim League-N, concerned secretaries, Commissioner Lahore Division and a large number of people were present on the occasion.