LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the provincial government has materialised the dream of the poor to have their own house, and property rights have been awarded to more than 1.7 million dwellers of katchi abadis in the province, while 3,460 katchi abadis have been notified.
He said that only 825 katchi abadis were notified in the last 27 years, while the present government has notified 3,460 katchi abadis and awarded property rights to their dwellers.
He said it is for the first time in the history of the province that property rights have been awarded under joint partnership to husband and wife in katchi abadis and they have been made equal partners in property.
The chief minister was presiding over a high-level review meeting regarding the pace of awarding property rights to the residents of katchi abadis in the province. Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, Auqaf Minister Haji Ehsanuddin Qureshi,
Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, assembly members Hafiz Mian Muhammad Nauman, Haji Allah Rakha, Planning & Development chairman, Board of Revenue senior member, secretaries of finance, law, local government, housing and other officers concerned were present in the meeting.
The chief minister said that Punjab government has taken the historic and revolutionary step of awarding proprietary rights to the dwellers of katchi abadis. He said that a total of 180,725 kanals of land has been given to residents of the katchi abadis on ownership basis.
The Punjab government, he said, has materialised the dream of the residents of the katchi abadis to own a house. The chief minister said that no fee has been charged to widows and orphans in awarding them property rights, while a fee of Rs 172 per marla has been charged to others.
Shahbaz said that it is for the first time that the Punjab government has awarded property rights to the residents of katchi abadis in urban as well as rural areas.
He said the Punjab government of the PML-N has always taken solid measures for the betterment of backward and low-income segments of society and awarding of ownership rights to the residents of katchi abadis is a part of this policy.
The chief minister also issued instructions for setting up a committee for the immediate disposal of the pending cases. The committee which will present its report within two days after making a case to case review.
While acknowledging the efficiency of the staff of Directorate General Katchi Abadis, Chief Minister Shahbaz announced two months’ basic pay for them as honorarium.
He also appreciated the performance of Board of Revenue Senior Member Sami Saeed, Member Colonies Khawaja Shamail, Katchi Abadis director general and staff of the department and said that the officers have set a noble example of dutifulness by working round the clock for this project of public welfare.
Separately, presiding over a high-level meeting regarding improvement of graveyards in the province, the chief minister said that the Punjab government has taken comprehensive steps to improve the condition of graveyards throughout the province, along with provision of necessary facilities on priority basis.
He said an amount of Rs 1 billion has been earmarked for construction of graveyards’ boundary walls, paved places for funerals. He said improvement of arrangements for water, sanitation and construction of ablution places would be ensured.