LAHORE - Opposition in the Punjab Assembly yesterday demanded the Chair for setting up a bipartisan committee of the House to probe delay and changing the design of Bab-e-Pakistan.

During the question hour and later on point of order the Opposition members told the House that out of 860 kanals of land allocated for Bab-e-Pakistan, 100 kanals have been sliced for the commercial purpose after redesigning the project.

Opposition Leader Mian Abdul Rashid and JI member Dr Waseem Akhtar alleged that 100 kanals is open to illegal distribution among the favourites. They said not a single penny has been released by the government since last eight years to complete the project.

Work on the project, initiated during the tenure of Ghulam Haider Wyne in 1991 with estimated cost of Rs2.75billion, they alleged, has been stalled over the last years due to which the site is being used for sheltering cattle and other purposes.

The project is in memory of those Pakistanis who migrated from India at the time of partition after suffering the loss of their kith and kins and their precious belongings. So far, Rs 100 billion have been spent on the project.

Parliamentary Secretary for Information and Culture Rana Arshad said the then Punjab government in September 2005 had handed over the project to the Army and since then matter relating to its construction was not with the Punjab government. He said the Punjab government wrote to Pak Army to give the project back to the government so that it could be completed expeditiously.

Speaker Rana Iqbal Khan not conceding to the request of a probe committee on the project, went ahead with the proceedings after statement of the Parliamentary Secretary.

Including Punjab Local Government Ordinance Amendment Ordinance, Child Restriction on Employment Ordinance, the Punjab government also presented five ordinances before the Provincial Assembly for legislation.

The government also introduced four bills. One of them sought transfer of all assets and properties of the defunct Punjab Highway Authority to the department of Works and Communication, the other called for amendment in the Provincial Motor Vehicles Ordinance to the effect of necessary registration of the vehicles and personalized license number plates while third sought upgrading the status of Home Economic College into a university and the fourth wanted amendment in the Parks and Horticulture Authority Act of 2012 to the effect of awarding punishment of imprisonment of up to 15 days and fine up to Rs 0.2million for illegally cutting trees.

The government sought amendment in Punjab Local Government Act 2013 inter alia to the effect of electing Chairman and Vice Chairman of the District Council and that of Municipal Committee through majority vote by members of the respective body.

Similarly, it the Ordinance wanted member of the Metropolitan corporation or Municipal Corporation electing with majority vote, Mayor and Deputy Mayor as joint candidates. It sought that a District Council having population of over one million shall have two Vice Chairmen and one additional vice chairman for each one million additional population. The amendment has been sought also to the effect that a Municipal Corporation having more than one million population will have two deputy mayors and one additional deputy mayor for each one million additional population. For the Metropolitan Lahore nine Deputy mayors have been sought instead of the previous 13.

The Punjab Restriction on Employment of Children Ordinance among other things, prescribed punishment of up to six months and fine up to Rs50,000 for employing a child and up to seven years jail and fine up to Rs one million to a person who would employ a child or adolescent to any form of slavery, such as the sale and trafficking or forced or compulsory labour, or recruit them for use in armed conflicts or use them for illicit activities or prostitution or for production of pornography.

The House also took up an adjournment motion from an Opposition member against the PML-N leader Muhammad Hanif Abbasi whom last days, allegedly forced release of an accused from a Rawalpindi jail and later using his political influence got the SHO concerned suspended. A report was sought on the motion.

The session was adjourned until 10am for today.