On Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the country’s first-ever Central Business District (CBD) in Lahore. He termed such wealth generation projects vital for strengthening the country’s economy.
Speaking at the stone-laying ceremony of the project, the PM said he was confident that this project will help generate Rs 6,000 billion.
He said that in the first phase of the project, the government will get Rs. 250 Billion in taxes and the project will generate revenue of Rs. 1300 billion. “With huge tenders involved, this project will witness a major takeoff in a short span of time and also transform Lahore into a modern city,” the premier added.
He also mentioned the recent LNG deal Pakistan has signed with Qatar for the next 10 years. He said, “It took the government three years to negotiate this agreement which will help save $ 300 million annually.”
He argued that the previous governments mismanaged the economy and that the incumbent government inherited a country in a perilous situation. He said, “We inherited a difficult economic situation; however, the current account remained surplus during the first six months of the current fiscal year while textile exports are also witnessing increase and new industries are being set up.”
Addressing Lahore’s much prevalent urban issues, blamed unchecked horizontal expansion of the city. He said that following the de-notifying of the Walton airport, tall buildings can be constructed in Gulberg and Ferozepur road making the area an economic hub of the city.
He also mentioned the water-related issues of Lahore. “The entire city’s sewerage is going in River Ravi, a lot of people drink water from the rivers,” he said. “The water table of Lahore is declining.”
PM said he is the biggest supporter of environmental conservation and has always emphasized on considering the environmental aspect while implementing any project. He added that the lack of interest of previous governments towards environmental preservation has inflicted huge damage to the urban cities of Pakistan especially.
Talking about the Naya Pakistan Housing Project, PM said that the project will provide low-cost housing for the middle and low-income salaried class of the country. He said the environment-friendly and project will be carried out on vertical principles with the construction of high-rise buildings.
CM Buzdar explained the projects
Present on the occasion, CM Punjab talked about the fact that such economic activities contribute to the alleviation of poverty.
He said that the CBD will be spread over an area of 300 acres. The project will be completed in 3 phases. The first phase will be developed over an area of 128 acres and commercial activity of around 1300 billion rupees will be generated, CM Buzdar said. A commercial district will be established in the first phase, a digital district will be introduced in the second phase while a residential district will be built in the third phase.
The high-rise buildings will represent the city’s cultural history, and the gates to the district would resemble the historic gates of Lahore.
Talking about the gains from this project CM Punjab said that the project would create job opportunities for the people while keeping human resource development in mind. He said that previously, initiatives were started without keeping the end goal in mind, thus the priorities were not kept in mind, resulting in burdening the government at the end of the day. He also mentioned that the Ravi Development project will provide affordable housing to over 2 million people.
He also mentioned different infrastructural projects taking place in Lahore. CM pointed out that Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Underpass has been completed while the underpass and flyover will soon be constructed at Shahkam Chowk and Karim Block Market Chowk. In the meantime, he mentioned underpasses under construction at Ghulab Devi Hospital near Ferozepur Road, and at Band Road Chowk leading towards Samanabad. He also mentioned a future project of building an overhead bridge from Lahore Railway Station to Sheranwala Gate.
Talking about hospitals, he said that one thousand-bed general hospital project will be completed with nine billion rupees at Ferozpur Road over an area of 124 Kanal.
Work is also being done at a cost of four billion rupees to complete the mother & childcare center at Ganga Ram Hospital, he said. He added that the children’s hospital has been given the status of University of Child Health Sciences and the radiology block in Services Hospital has also been completed.
CM Punjab mentioned that another state-of-the-art bus terminal will be developed at Thokar Niaz Beg. Electric buses will be operational in Lahore in the first phase to save the citizens from environmental pollution, he added.
Also, an underground water storage tank has been constructed for rainwater storage and ten such facilities will also be developed in different cities besides gradual overhauling of outdated sewerage lines. This has been started with the laying of a large disposal drain from Haji Camp to Ravi, he added.
He added that an agreement has been signed between the LDA and Punjab Bank to construct four thousand flats and to implement that construction of more than 35 thousand apartments over eight thousand kanals land has been planned.
These flats shall be for low-income families and will be given on lenient terms. He said that these projects will take Lahore to a path of real development.
Earlier to this event, both CM Punjab and PM Imran Khan discussed progress in the ongoing development schemes of Punjab, political matters, and other important issues. The PM called for taking steps against profiteers, hoarders of essential commodities.
Furthermore, Special Assistant to CM Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan accompanied by Syed Ali Zafar and PTI candidate from NA-75 Asjad Malhi called on Imran Khan to discuss the election in NA-75. Dr Firdous told the PM about the situation in NA-75 and the decision of ECP to hold fresh polls in the constituency.