Punjab government goes into cinema business
LAHORE, April 26, 2005: The Punjab government has entered into the cinema business and established an entertainment company as a part of its new scheme. The first project of the Punjab Entertainment Company (PEC) would be to set up an I-Max theatre and entertainment complex at a cost of Rs 800 million at MM Alam Road. The proposed site was originally reserved for a park and playground.
The PEC is a private limited company and will work under the supervision of Information Secretary Taimur Azmat Usman till a full-time managing director is appointed. The PEC will use the income from the I-Max theatre and entertainment complex for developing cinemas and theatres in the future.
The I-Max theatre seems to be an expensive and lavish project, given its hefty cost. Such an amount is adequate for establishing two state-of-the-art surgical towers such as the one being built at Mayo Hospital for Rs 350 million, or a Cardiology Institute like the one at Multan which costs Rs 780 million. About 2,000 primary schools can be established for the same money.
According to the details, the Punjab Communication and Works Department has started construction work after the Parks and Horticulture Authority handed over the possession of the proposed site (Doongi Ground) to the Punjab Information Department. Earlier, the PHA had planned to build a Mini Sports Complex at the said ground on BOT basis but the contractor, Shah Sharabeel, failed to start the construction work, eight months after the project had been approved.
The only progress made so far had been to raise the ground to road-level.The ground was previously being used for playing cricket and as a park. It also served as a flood reservoir during the monsoon season .
The ground has been given to the Information Department to ensure ‘proper utilisation.’ The C & W has brought the ground to its original level for construction purposes. The I-Max theatre and entertainment complex will be handed over to the newly-established PEC after the completion of the project at the end of the current year.
The proposed plan includes building for the I-Max theatre, an entertainment complex comprising a bowling alley, modern shopping mall, game and entertainment areas and food courts. Rs 450 million would be spent on the construction of building and purchase of required equipment for the I-Max theatre while Rs 350 million would be spent on the construction of the entertainment complex.
Source: The Nation