LAHORE – The Punjab Government has planned to accommodate the low salaried and poor people of all 36 districts of the province in Ashiyana Housing project which in the first phase is limited to Lahore but is all set to be started in Faisalabad, Sargodha, Sahiwal and Jehlum soon where model houses have been set up to pave way for construction of more houses.

Under the title Aashiyana Quaid, the first phase of the billions of rupees project is located at Attari Saroba, Ferozepur Road while in the second phase it is going to be established at Burki Road where estimated 10,000 houses will be built, all having a uniform measure of three marlas each.  In the first phase, 2,000 houses are under fast completion while 111 have already been given possession to the applicants in two phases after they were completed in a period of just nine months.  Originally two-marla houses were planned but later they were converted into three-marla houses. Aashiyana Housing Scheme was formally launched at Attari Sarobi in March last year after it took about two months to complete the ground work for the overall project.  Aashiyana-I is spanned over total 1,300 kanals of land (700 kanals added to it recently) which has to be completed within two years.

Aashiyana, a unique project in the provincial history and second in the country after Apna Ghar of Junejo era, is being executed through Punjab Land Development Company headed by MPA Sheikh Allauddin while a high-level committee headed by Chief Minister Punjab Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif is monitoring progress, quality and transparency in the project.  The committee regularly meets and examines the project from various angles and passes instructions to the company and the departments concerned wherever it feels necessary.  Besides giving constructed houses, allotment of five-marla plots have also been envisaged in Aashiyana I, for which a transparent computerised balloting is being employed.

For each house, a highly affordable price of Rs 13.5 lakh has been fixed and the loan facility through Bank of Punjab has been made available to the owners to pay the monthly installment of Rs 8,000 after 25 per cent down payment of the total amount.  The construction is going on through the Bahria Town construction company which is determined to complete the project at all cost rising above the changes on political landscape.

The scheme is equipped with all basic necessities of life from street light to road, from school and university to playground, from electricity to solar energy system, from water supply to sewerage system, from playground and stadium to community centre, from market to mosque and from dispensary to proper security.  The infrastructure has been developed in a manner to make it environment friendly. In order to ensure quality education to the children at Aashiyana-e-Quaid, an agreement has also been signed between Punjab Land Development Company and the Citizens Foundation for the setting up of schools in the schemes.  After the said five districts, work to provide Aashiyana to the poor of Sheikhupura, Bhukkar, Muzaffargarh, Multan, Bahawalpur, Chiniot, Kasur, Vehari, and Bahawlanagar will be initiated.