LAHORE (Sunday, June 19, 2011) : Shahbaz Sharif has said during his visit to the first Ashiana Housing Scheme at Saroba Atari where he spoke with families who have been allotted houses.
The chief minister said the people of Punjab had nationalistic thinking and voted for political parties without discrimination but despite this, the unjust attitude towards them was highly unfair. He said an equitable policy should be adopted towards the people of the whole country and if the discriminatory attitude towards the Punjab was not changed, the 100 million people of the province knew how to get their rights.
The chief minister said the Ashiana Housing Project was the realisation of dream of workers, orphans, widows and the poor that their forefathers had seen at the time of their migration to Pakistan. In reply to a query by allottees, the CM said they would not have to pay any additional amount for the verification of particulars and other matters.
The allottees lauded the chief minister for launching the scheme for low-income people, saying that though colonies had been set up for ministers, judges, generals and officers, this was the first time a modern housing project had been initiated for the poor and proved that the chief mninister’s sympathies were with the common man.
They said that members of the team, who had verified their particulars, had refused to even accept tea or soft drinks, saying they were on duty. The allottees said that the scheme was unique with regards to its transparency.
Samiullah, who has been allotted a house in the housing scheme, said the Ashiana scheme was unique in terms of its good standards and transparency. He said his salary was Rs14,000 and he could not even imagine that he would one day own a house where he would live with his family and have complete peace of mind. He said provision of houses to the poor in this era of price-hike was a big favour of the Punjab government.
A teacher in the Army Public School, Shoaib Ahmed, said the way the Punjab Land Development Company had conducted balloting in front of TV cameras for the Ashiana scheme was unprecedented. He said though the political slogan of Roti, Kapra aur Makan was raised by another party, it was Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif who had taken practical steps for the welfare of the poor rather than engaging in mere sloganeering.
A teacher, Fareeha Hussain, an MSc in Chemistry from the Punjab University, said the scheme was a blessing for white-collared people. She said she had been allotted a house in the colony, adding that she had always taught the rich and it was her desire to impart knowledge to poor children in Ashiana Housing Scheme in the future. The chief minister highly appreciated her spirit and said that a nation that had such teachers had a glorious future.
Saeed Ahmed and his son, Hafiz Arsalan, said their five-member family was forced to live in a small and dark room and they were at a loss for words to describe their joy at seeing their new house. An electrician, Bashir, who has also been given a house in the scheme, said it was a dream come true.