LAHORE - Punjab Chief Secretary Major (retired) Azam Suleman Khan on Thursday directed the communication and works department to work with full devotion so that development projects could be completed on time.

He said that all required funds would be provided for development and repair of roads despite financial constraints. Therefore, timely completion of uplift schemes should be ensured, he said. The Chief Secretary expressed these views while presiding over a meeting at the Civil Secretariat on Thursday.

Provincial Minister for Communication and Works Sardar Asif Nakai also attended the meeting. The minister reviewed annual development programme, public-private partnership schemes, and mega projects. On this occasion, Secretary C&W Capt (retired) Asad Ullah Khan briefed the meeting that process is underway for dualization of 14 roads in different cities under public-private partnership and construction work would begin after bidding and completion of other formalities.

In building sector in North Zone, funds of Rs 3.5 billion out of total allocated amount of Rs 5.5 billion have been released for 300 ongoing and 53 new schemes. Similarly, in Central Zone funds worth Rs 5 billion out of total Rs 9 billion have been released for 289 ongoing and 90 new schemes whereas in South Zone funds of Rs 5 billion out of total 8.5 billion have been released for 210 ongoing and 53 new schemes, he added.

The Chief Secretary directed that system of e-tendering be started in the C&W department at the earliest to ensure transparency in the procurement. He mentioned that use of modern technology would help root out corruption. The Secretary C&W said that matters are being finalized to introduce e-tendering and very soon this system would be launched as a pilot project. He maintained that work on 123-kilometer long 174 roads is near completion under Rs 15 billion ‘Naya Pakistan Manzilein Asan’ Project and second phase of this project is about to begin.

The Chief Secretary said that merit and transparency would have to be promoted to improve performance of departments. While orders Secretary C&W to remove corrupt officers and officials from their posts, he said that abilities of competent officers should be utilized to bring improvement.

The CS directed the Secretary C&W to review 13 unapproved schemes and start preparing for next annual development programme from now. Priorities must be set about uplift schemes with a focus on new schemes in public interest, he added.

The Chief Secretary also issued directions regarding recruitment of officers and staff and establishment of Strategic and Planning Unit in the department.