Punjab govt’s Model Villages project likely to fail


The Punjab government has pledges for the construction of only 1,346 houses from various donors against its plans of building over than 20,000 houses under the Model Villages project.
Data available with Pakistan Today revealed that only seven percent of the houses could be constructed in accordance with the pledges made by various donors. The government would need Rs 6 billion to construct 204 model villages. However, neither does the government have the funds for constructing the houses itself, nor will it receive funds from international donors.
“The government does not have enough funds to do it on its own, as it is in deep financial problem already,” an official of the Punjab government said, adding that the Model Village project was likely to fail.
Moreover, the government has concentrated on only two districts – Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur – ignoring the remaining five.
The government had plans to construct 204 model villages in districts Bhakkar (15), DG Khan (30), Mianwali (15), Layyah (30), Muzafargrah (49), Rahim Yar Khan (35) and Rajanpur (30).
According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Lions Club and Fazal Cotton have donated 300 and 100 houses respectively in Muzaffargarh, Izhar Group has pledged 133 in Meeran Mullan (Muzaffargarh) and Pakistan Club Manama, Bahrain, would help with the construction of 100 houses in Abbaspur, Muzaffargarh. The Asifa Irfan Foundation would build 150 houses in Muzaffargarh.
Sukh Chain Gardens will construct 263 houses in Miani Mallah (Rajanpur) and Muslim Charity, the United Kingdom, will donate another 200 houses in Rajanpur.
The rest of the five districts – DG Khan, Layyah, Mianwali, Bhakkar and Rahim Yar Khan – have been ignored.
On average, each village would have around 100 houses, with the cost of each construction estimated at around Rs 260,000, and that of the complete village at Rs 30 million.
The government also convened a donors’ conference in Islamabad last week, but failed to achieve positive results against high hopes.
So far, only eight local donors have agreed to construct 1,346 houses and the government is in a fix regarding how to build the rest.
The government estimated that around 30,000 houses were damaged in Muzaffargarh, 24,229 in Rajanpur, 6,061 in Bhakkar, 8,182 in Layyah, 18,352 in Mianwali, 2,671 in Dera Ghazi Khan, 642 in Khushab and 6, 310 were destroyed in Rahim Yar Khan.
But Punjab government spokesman Pervaiz Rasheed said the response of donors had been excellent. He said the government had not called the donors’ conference to collect money, instead, it had asked donors to construct model villages.