LAHORE - At a time when millions of Pakistanis are leading their lives without homes and they have to sleep without their own roofs, there are many in-service or retired government officials who are enjoying their lives in governments residences that are built on many acres of land. According to World Bank survey, Pakistan needs 0.7 million housing units every year owing to population growth but only 0.3 million are built, leaving a shortfall of 0.4m units every year. The population not only facing severe housing shortages but also unhealthy living conditions and dilapidated infrastructure across the country. Factors responsible for this massive increase are mainly population growth and price hike in building material. Though this 0.4 million units acute housing shortage has put the country to face unprecedented challenge, but when commercial banks refused to finance further for automobile sector in last decade, housing schemes have emerged like mushroom in every nook and corner of the country. Not only Federal Government but also provincial governments showed their interest to build houses for their employees. Recently, Punjab government has taken a step to build over 3,000 houses for low-income group of society near Raiwind. Similarly, Model Town Housing Scheme was built before the inception of Pakistan. Like Model Town Housing Society, Mayo Gardens Housing Scheme has been built before the birth of Pakistan for high-ranking officials of Pakistan Railways residing in Lahore. It was built during the British Rule principally for families of the British officers serving at distinguished positions in Railways. The housing colony has around 60 residential houses or villas with gardens, terraces and carpeted pavements for vehicles along with servant quarters for cooks, drivers, gardeners and security personal of the elite officials. Though only officers of Grade 19 or above are entitled for allocation of homes in Mayo Gardens but a survey conducted by The Nation revealed that blue-eyed officers having grade below 19 are also residing there. PR officers who have been retired since three or four years ago are still enjoying not only residential facility but also governmental transport facility. It would be not out of place to mention here that after independence, Pakistan Railways was considered to be a very dignified and gracious department and its General Manager who used to live in Mayo Gardens bungalow No. 2 was constitutionally made acting Governor General of Pakistan after the absence of Governor General. As Mayo Gardens is located between Davis Road and Allama Iqbal Road, the colony has two entrances with one facing the northern entrance of Aitchison College on Davis Road while the other opening on Allama Iqbal Road. While entering from this side, one can initially find bungalow No. 42 where Mian Ahsan Mehmood, Chief Mechanical Engineer resides followed by Liaqat Ali Chughtai in 39 and Khalid Muhayyud Din, central accused of scrap scandal in bungalow No. 40, disclosed a high-profile PR officer on the condition of anonymity. He fuither said that adjacent to them, Farrukh Taimur Ghalzai used to live who had affixed search lights over his residence after taking stands from Railway Stations. In bungalow No. 34 Shahid Aslam Muhar, a former PRO of PR but currently DG BISP used to live. Lodge No. 28 is allocated to General Manager Ashfaq Khattak who has had also governmental residences like this in many other cities. Cottage No. 32 has been allocated to MD PRACS which is so-called subsidiary of Pakistan Railways. Jahangir Aziz, living in cottage No. 23, retired three years ago from grade 21, is still attached with PR working in grade 19. He was suspended as he was involved in fake PR housing scheme and embezzled millions of rupees of PR poor workers. Ch Bilal Serwar whose spouse is also working in PR at a high position is living in Cottage No. 18. Both have been suspended over various charges. Though the century-old Mayo Garden residential colony is meant for high-ranking officials of PR who are living in residences with beautiful gardens and carpeted roads uptil their respective garages but the fact is that they are very influential as no one can point a finger to them. However, in return, they are delivering nothing to Pakistan Railways. Instead they have pushed their department to a verge of collapse. Currently, department is facing acute shortage of capital and even does not have resources to pay employees salaries in time.