ISLAMABAD   -  The federal government has decided to convert a dozen official and heritage buildings, including PM House and governor houses into universities, museums and five-star hotels.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan has given his go-ahead signal to convert all the historical, government and heritage buildings into museums and educational institutes, including PM House, governor houses for their purposeful utilisation,” revealed Federal Minister for Education and National History and Literary Heritage Division Shafqat Mehmood at a media briefing here Thursday.

He explained the PM House measuring 1,096-kanal land would be converted into a university of international standard. He said a three-member committee, comprising federal education minister, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri and Dr Atta-ur-Rehman would work to materialise the plan.

The minister affirmed the large grounds of the PM House would also be utilised and necessary constructions would be made there. He said the annual expenses on the building of the PM House are Rs 470 million which would be saved and utilised after conversion of the building into a research university.

Shafqat Mehmood averred the Governor House Murree on whose renovation the Punjab government recently spent Rs 60 million would be converted into a heritage boutique hotel.

He added the Punjab House of Murree located on 30-kanal land and costing the provincial government Rs 25 million annually would be converted into a tourist resort.

He asserted the Punjab government would take measures to convert these buildings into hotels and resorts through the private sector. He added the Punjab House in Rawalpindi and the governor annexe located on 70-kanal land having an annual cost of Rs 40 million would be converted into an educational institute. He said the Punjab government would decide and take steps to convert it into a university or hand it over to the National College of Arts (NCA).

The minister stated the Lahore Governor House with 700-kanal land would be converted into a museum and art gallery. The wall towards The Mall would be demolished and a fence would be fixed for the facility of visitors. He revealed the Chamba House Lahore would be declared as the governor house.

He further revealed the government offices at 90-Quaid-i-Azam Avenue would be converted into a craft museum and its hall would be utilised for conventions. He said the annual expenses of these offices are Rs 80 million.

The minister stated the State House Lahore building owned by the Foreign Office is located on more than 16-kanal land and the government’s annual expenditure on it is Rs 50 million. He said the building would be converted into a five-star hotel.

The minister told the media that Governor House Karachi would also be converted into a museum and the state guesthouse would be declared the governor house for which the Sindh government had given its positive nod.

He said Qasr-e-Naz building in Karachi would also be converted into a five-star hotel as the government was spending Rs 15 million annually on it.

In Balochistan, he said, the governor house would be converted into a museum for the awareness of the public and tourists about the Baloch history while its grounds would be converted into a women park on the PM’s advice.

The minister said Peshawar Governor House would also be converted into a museum and its basement would be utilised for the display of 30,000 heritage antiques. He added the museum would also project the tribal and Pashto culture while its grounds would be converted into a botanical garden.

He also said Governor House at Nathia Gali would be converted into a high-standard hotel, adding the government was spending Rs 110.5 million annually on the maintenance of these buildings, which would be now used for income generation.

The minister revealed an implementation committee had been formed for early conversion of these historical buildings into their new positions.

The minister said the buildings would be converted, but their heritage value would not be changed.

The government has formed a five-member committee, headed by the federal minister to conduct the survey and submit its report regarding conversion of official and historic buildings into museums and other public utilisation projects.

The committee has constituted regional committees to give a survey report of the public buildings. The regional committees comprise Regional Committee Karachi, headed by Samar Ali Khan, Regional Committee Lahore, headed by Nayyar Ali Dada, Regional Committee Peshawar, headed by Naeem Safi, Regional Committee Islamabad, headed by Asma Rashid Khan, and Regional Committee Quetta.

 

 

PM, governor houses to be made museums, edu institutes

 

RAHUL BASHARAT