Multan-Commissioner Multan Shanul Haq has disclosed that work on 476 development schemes is underway in the division while another Rs. 55 billion Multan Package is awaiting government approval.

In an exclusive interview with The Nation, he further revealed that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had agreed to fund a mega sanitation project under which sewerage water of Multan city would be released into the river after treatment.

“This is Rs 48 billion sludge carrier and water treatment project. The government will provide land worth Rs. 8 billion while the bank will provide Rs. 40 billion for its completion,” he added.

Giving details of ongoing 476 schemes, the Commissioner said that the projects cost a total of Rs. 12 billion out of which Rs. 10 billion had been released by the government. “Of these, as many as 65 schemes are new and 405 ongoing. The government has released Rs. 10 billion and we have spent 5.56 billion so far,” he added while giving details of development projects.

He said that health and transport stood at the top of the priority list. “Work on Nishtar-11, Chaudhry Parvez Elahi Institute of Cardiology (CPEIC) and District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) is underway,” he added. He said that Nishtar-11 cost Rs. 2.5 billion out of which Rs. 840 million had been released while the funds for the DHQ hospital had also been received.

He said that people from all four provinces benefited from the Nishtar Hospital and upgradation of its cancer ward, which was underway, would give them a top quality cancer treatment centre in Multan.

About road projects, the commissioner disclosed that a revised project for construction of a mega flyover at Nadirabad Phatak had been approved by the government. “Earlier, it was Rs. 1 billion projects but we believed that a small flyover will fail to fulfill the traffic requirements at this point.

The government has approved revised project worth over Rs 2.70 billion and work on it will start soon,” he added. He disclosed that work on multiple road projects was about to start as March, April and May was the time when road projects were normaly executed.

To a query on education projects, he said that two new colleges were being constructed in Multan and Khanewal while a proforma for the upgradation of schools was also being prepared. He said that a BS Block was under construction in Government Emerson College at a cost of Rs. 160 million. “Similarly, construction of administration and academic blocks as well as other buildings in Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture is also underway. The government had released Rs. 450 million out of which Rs. 290 million is spent so far,” he added.

The commissioner disclosed that a number of health, education, sports and road projects would be completed under Rs. 55 billion Multan Package. “Over 100 schools will be upgraded, Multan zoo set up, Gymkhana Complex constructed, a filter clinic established at CPEIC, Nishtar Emergency revamped and six rural health centres upgraded under this package,” he gave further details. He said that the package also included sewerage, water supply and ring road projects.

“Sewerage system will be laid in areas without this facility at cost of Rs. 800 million while hockey stadium in Matti Tal area will be established and Rs. 150 million will be spent on its Astroturf,” he added.

Answering a question on Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches, he said that Multan administration held a very successful show with the collaboration of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and support of people.

“The crowd in Multan was 10 thousand bigger than Rawalpindi. No unpleasant incident or mishap was reported during all three matches and people of South Punjab enjoyed a week of non-stop cricket,” he added.

He said that the situation for Multan administration was far more challenging than other cities as the teams’ route in Lahore was four kilometer and Rawalpindi one kilometer long compared to 24 kilometers in Multan.

“They travelled in high security zones in Lahore and Rawalpindi while in Multan we had to secure entire 24 kilometer route. We started everything from scratch and accomplished this task successfully,” he added.