LAHORE - The PHA has launched an action plan under which two biggest parks spreading 1,000 kanal in Johar Town and 480 kanal along river Ravi will be developed, besides three parks and 14 play grounds which will be developed in different localities, specially less-privileged areas. The action plan will also rehabilitate playgrounds and parks that have been left unattended and neglected. Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has issued Rs 100 million grant in this regard. The Punjab government has already allocated Rs 243 million for the implementation of this plan which the PHA authorities claim will change the landscape of the City. The PHA has already 1,139 big and small sized parks under its administrative control. Under the new plan which the PHA claimed has already begun, as many as 14 playgrounds will be developed at different places including TEVTA parks Shahdarah, near petrol pump Shahdarah, near Ghora Hospital Shahdarah, D-I Block Gujjar Pura, D-Block Sabzazar Scheme, near Ittefaq Hospital Model Town, D-II Block MA Johar Town, E-Block Gulshan Ravi, Kashmir Block AIT, Mehran Block AIT, Chenab Block AIT and new Chouburgi Township. Three parks including Ladies Park, D-I Sector Green Town, and Railway Line at Qazi Park Shahdarah Town, near Maqbara Jahangir Shahdarah Town will also be developed under this plan. The PHA will also develop a state-of-the-art park measuring 1,000 kanal in Johar Town. International consultants from Singapore and Malaysia will be hired to make the park as a model one. With a view to monitor the action plan, the authority will initiate a project to get all its data computerised. The data regarding strength of staff, available apparatus, status of completed and on-going works, earmarked funds, future projects, enquiries, performance report and other miscellaneous information will be computerised. Under this programme the data will be available to all the offices of the authority. Ever the general public will have access to such data to ensure transparency. PHA DG Rao Iftikhar told The Nation the authority was committed to realise the dream of transforming the city into a hub of playgrounds and parks under the vision outlined by CM Shabaz Sharif. He said the PHA had executed this plan, adding that the teams of gardeners had also been constituted. These teams have started their work. The PHA has banned all functions in 1,139 parks to improve their condition, he maintained.CM Task Force for Horticulture Chairman Mustafa Kamal said the target given by the chief minister to transform the city into land of garden would be achieved in stipulated time. He said the city would be named as "Lahore Garden City". He said that public private partnership would be encouraged to ensure the maintenance of the parks, adding the force of 5,000 gardens would be optimised to materialise the new vision of PHA. It may be recalled that the city, known for its greenery, was fast losing playgrounds and parks over the last two decades because of their excessive use for commercial activities. Two main playgrounds, known for game of cricket, have been replaced by multi-storey buildings of the Punjab Assembly and the MPA Hostel. On a ground, known as Scout Ground at the Railways Colony, flats have been built. The Waris Road Ground at Mozang is in a state of dismay. Presently, the ground is being used for marriage functions instead of sports activities. Likewise, the Mochi Gate Ground, where many test cricketers used to play, is also in sorry state. Wapda Town last bus stop playground is being used for a Sunday bazaar. Same is the case with Green Town Ground where Sunday bazaar has replaced the sports activities. Gulberg had playgrounds in its residential blocks but with the passage of time the main grounds vanished and those left were only being used for local sports activity. Township playground has also been turned into a dumping place for solid waste generated by the marble cutters operating in the nearby residential housing societies.