Neat and tidy: CM puts microscope over rural cleanliness

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Shehbaz Sharif. PHOTO: REUTERS

Shehbaz Sharif. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: Matters related to solid waste management and sanitation programmes in rural areas came under the microscope during a high-level meeting on Tuesday.

The meeting also pondered over different issues relating to clean drinking water programmes. While addressing the meeting, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the government had developed a mega programme to keep villages neat and clean.

He maintained the initiative was unique programme and had been launched for the first time in Pakistan. “This will ensure the villages and rural hinterlands are kept neat and clean, just like cities. He said village dwellers will get the same facilities which are available in cities and the cleanliness system would be devolved up to the level of union councils.

The CM said the rural solid waste and sanitation programme was a most innovative and public-friendly initiative which could be used as a role model to benefit people.

He ordered that skilled human resource should be hired for the implementation of the drive. Shehbaz warned he would personally supervise the plan. “A huge sum of Rs15 billion has been allocated for this programme in the upcoming financial year. He maintained an efficient solid waste management system would be available in the villages, adding collective efforts were needed to provide a clean atmosphere to people. “Cleanliness of villages, alongside cities, is our commitment.”

Shehbaz said a clean drinking water supply programme will started from southern Punjab and the scheme would be commence in all the tehsils of the region. He added a sum of Rs25 billion was being provided in FY2017-18.

He hoped the implementation on the programme would help to eradicate waterborne diseases. He also expressed hope that the project would prove beneficial for the health of the people. He said the initiative would be implemented on a fast-track basis by uniting all energies. He observed clean drinking water was one of the fundamental rights of people. “In the Bahawalpur region, 116 water filtration plants are providing clean drinking water to the people,” he added.

Provincial ministers Mansha Ullah Butt, Syed Haroon Sultan Bukhari, PML-N leader Khawaja Ahmad Hasaan, the chief secretary, Planning & Development chairman, Saaf Pani Company (South) Chairman Chaudhry Arif Saeed, senior officials, secretaries concerned and other experts attended the meeting.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2017.

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