CM inaugurates housing scheme for journalists
RAWALPINDI: Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi on Monday laid the foundation stone of journalists’ housing colony and announced that development work would be completed within a year.Addressing a ceremony after unveiling the plaque, the chief minister said that the total development charges for each plot would be Rs 350,000 to Rs 400,000. Earlier, the Punjab government had estimated the development charges at Rs 600,000 per plot.Federal Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, provincial Local Bodies and Law Minister Muhammad Basharat Raja and office-bearers of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Press Club (RIPC ) were also present.
Located on the Islamabad Highway, the journalists’ housing colony is just a few kilometres from the Islamabad International Airport. According to a plan, all 1,190 members of the RIPC will be allotted plots in the colony, stretching across 200 acres of land.The chief minister said that he faced trouble while finalising the project, but that the process could not be stopped as the Punjab Assembly had passed a bill for the colony.
He said that the development work was underway on a journalists’ colony in Lahore, that the government would soon inaugurate a similar project for the journalists of Multan and that the land value of the Rawalpindi colony was higher than the Lahore colony.
Elahi stressed international standard development work in the colony and said that parks, mosques, schools and a hospital would be set up there.Â“Colony residents will be provided with the best sanitation and drinking water services,” he said. “The owner of Behria Town has offered to build two schools, free of cost, in the colony.”The chief minister said that he would direct the Bank of Punjab to grant loans to journalists for the construction of their houses and asked the journalists not to sell their plots to other people as the colony would provide them with excellent accommodation facilities.
Elahi said that press is the fourth pillar of the state, adding that President General Pervez Musharraf deserved kudos for ensuring freedom of expression. “Media is free to criticise government.”RIPC President Mushtaq Minhas demanded reduction in the development charges, which was accepted by the chief minister.Minhas also demanded that the family members of journalists, who died recently, should also be granted plots. He said Rawalpindi and Islamabad journalists currently working abroad should also be considered for the allotment.
Source: Daily Times