LAHORE - Punjab government has started implementing a project aiming at digital monitoring of its prisons, initially in seven different jails of the province.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar inaugurated the Prison Management Information System (PMIS) at a ceremony held at the Civil Secretariat here on Tuesday.

The Chief Minister was told that digital monitoring of prisoners, staff and other affairs will be possible through this modern system which has been launched in seven different jails of the province. The scope of PMIS will be gradually enhanced to all the jails to maintain a digital record and monitoring of prisoners’ movement and other activities during their confinement. Similarly, visitors’ record will also be maintained.

The CM directed to complete necessary action for amendments in jail manual and Prisons Act and also approved setting up of PCOs in all the prisons. The meeting decided to take steps for increasing the capacity of Punjab jails to accommodate ten thousand more prisoners.

The CM gave in-principle approval to post up-gradation of jail staff, laundry system besides establishing new washrooms in jails. It was also decided to increase the strength of doctors and paramedics according to the need besides establishing a development directorate for the prisons department.

Talking on this occasion, the CM said that organized jail reforms had been started after a period of 100 years adding that he was also visiting jails during field visits to check their conditions. Prisoners will be provided with all facilities according to the jail manual, he assured and directed to provide air-coolers and water-coolers in all the jails.

ACS (Home) Momin Ali Agha briefed about the steps taken to protect the prisoners from coronavirus. He told the meeting that as many as 1,584 prisoners had been relocated from congested Lahore jails to other places and a 100-bed hospital was fully functional in Camp Jail.

He further informed that 84 detainees out of 1,680 prisoners had been tested for coronavirus while only seven positive coronavirus patients were under treatment.

He said high-security prison will be made functional in Mianwali very soon. Similarly, professional training of jail staff has been arranged at Punjab Prison Staff College Sahiwal, he added. Provincial ministers Raja Basharat, Zawar Hussain Warraich, Chief Secretary, Secretary Information and others also attended the meeting.

street lights to be

shifted to solar energy

Buzdar presided over a meeting at the Civil Secretariat here on Tuesday in which Secretary Energy gave a briefing about energy projects in Punjab.

The meeting decided to shift sewerage and water supply projects of WASA and streets lights to solar energy in all the divisional headquarters of the province.

The meeting gave in-principle approval to introduce solar-based projects for 50 to 100 houses and the CM directed to devise projects for supplying direct electricity to the industry through provincial grid station. The CM also gave the approval to upgrade solar wall project in Kala Shah Kaku adding that Renewable Solar Energy Training Centre will be set in Bahawalpur while Solar Centre of Excellence for Solar Testing and Training will be established in Multan.

He said the government intended to make electricity-producing units a profitable entity and standard building code should be strictly implemented for saving electricity.

He further directed to decrease electricity bills of government buildings adding that solar systems be installed at additional places of hydropower plants.

The meeting was told that the hydropower system comprising of bio and solar energy will be installed in three villages initially and 150-megawatt waste-to-energy project will be completed as soon as possible. The CM directed to install solar systems in schools where electricity was not available and further instructed to promote solar technology in tribal areas as it is the best option to promote a green environment. 

CM directs to set up canteens at quarantine facilities

Buzdar has directed to set up canteens at different quarantine facilities including Expo Center’s field hospital so that inmates could choose their favourite foods items. Use of PPE will be mandatory for canteens’ staff.

A meeting was held at the Civil Secretariat under the chair of CM on Tuesday to formulate the SoPs of home quarantine.

Secretary Specialized Healthcare briefed about proposed SoPs and said that internationally-acknowledged guidelines will be provided in black and white as protection of family members is the first priority.

He further informed that government deputed teams will also visit homes to check the quality of quarantines and affidavit will have to be given for choosing home quarantine.  It would be necessary to keep the citizens coming from abroad under reservation for 14 days and they will be given the option of choosing the government quarantine centres or hotels. The result of the coronavirus test will be given in 24 hours and the patient will have to be quarantined in case of a positive result.

The CM directed to adopt a foolproof mechanism of movement of patients being sent to their districts.

CM approves aid package

for needy artists

Chief Minister on Tuesday approved a financial aid package devised by Information and Culture Department to provide aid worth Rs15,000 to Rs20,000 each to three thousand needy artistes.

In this regard, the CM has stated the government is fully aware of difficulties being faced by the artistes due to lockdown and added that deserving artistes will be assisted transparently. The artistes will be provided financial aid as soon as possible after their categorization, he added.