Saturday, August 13, 2022

Govt decides to convert major official residences into universities, parks

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LAHORE: The government has decided to convert all high level official residences into higher educational institutions, museums, parks and five-star hotels in pursuance of promises made by the Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood made this announcement during a press briefing here. He informed that the Governor House Lahore, established on 700 Kannals would be used for museum and art gallery while the grounds would be converted into the public parks.

Similarly, he said the building established on 90-Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam Karachi is being renovated with the cost of Rs 80 million annually, adding that it would be converted into the craft museum while its basement Hal would be rented out for public conferences. He said that Chamba House Lahore is a historical building which will be used for Governor Office.

Another building of State Guest House established on 16.5 acres of land at Mall Road Lahore and being officially used by the foreign office, will be converted into a Five -Star Hotel, he informed. The annual expenditures of this building are around 500 million, the minister said.

Karachi Governor House would be converted into a museum, while State Guest House Karachi would be used for Governor House and the decision to this effect would be taken with the consultation of Sindh government, he remarked.

Around Rs 1.15 billion are being spent annually on these official residences which would be saved.

He said the prime minister and governors had decided to not live in their official residences, as a good gesture and a role model of austerity for the masses.

Sharing the detail of today’s meeting with the Prime Minister, Shafqat Mahmood said that a committee was established in this regard under his chairmanship which presented the report to Imran Khan.

The PM House building would be converted into a high level Post Graduate Educational Institution, he added. The land of the PM house would also be utilized for constructions of the new buildings of university, the minister added.

In this regard, he said “a three-member committee has been constituted which includes Education Minister, Chairman HEC, Dr Tariq Banuri and Dr Atta ur Rahman which would take further steps for establishing the university.

Shafqat said that Governor House Murree would be converted into a high level Heritage Boutique Hotel.

The Punjab House and Governor House established in Rawalpindi were spread on over 50 Kannals and 20 kannals respectively and were being used as a rest house, he said adding that the total expenditure of both buildings was around Rs 40 million annually.

He said that these both building would also be transferred into a high level educational institution adding; National Council of Arts Rawalpindi could be shifted in these buildings or an Information Technology Centre could also be established here. The decision in this regard would be taken by the Punjab government, he added.

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