‘Game of toilets’ between federal and Punjab governments

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LAHORE: In an apparent attempt to ensure development in Punjab, the provincial government is focusing on Lahore to improve the facilities for public on roads.

Interestingly, as part of these efforts, government’s higher officials have taken a keen interest in the construction of public toilets on Ferozpur road. However, these toilets have been constructed right in front of the gate of a federal institute named Pakistan Industrial and Technical Assistance Centre (PITAC).

PITAC provides technical assistance to private industry and has also established a College of Technology for youth. What’s important to note is that the institution falls within the administrative control of the government of Pakistan’s Ministry of Industries & Production.

This rift occurred when Punjab government started constructing the public toilets in front of the entrance gate of PITAC, even though no public or private building can be constructed in front of a door of any property, as it is legally not permissible to block the right of way of anyone. As per reports, even after stay orders, construction work has continued.

According to a letter written by the management of PITAC—along with the approval of the Director-General—to the assistant commissioner (AC) Lahore, these toilets will block the right of way of about 500 employees/trainees and students of the institution, which is legally not permissible.  Moreover, they also have serious reservations owing to the pollution risk it poses to the environment of the college, as well as proving hazardous for the students of the college, who need clean and neat environment.

Despite repeated attempts, Pakistan Today couldn’t reach AC Lahore for a comment.  It is pertinent to mention here that the government of Pakistan established PITAC in 1962 with the merger of Industrial Research and Development Centre (IRDC) and Industrial Productivity Centre (IPC) under the administrative control of Ministry of Industries.

PITAC has continued to train unskilled workmen of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small-scale workshops (cottage) by the provision of demand-driven technical courses, resulting in better income and employment opportunities.

Since its inception, PITAC has been rendering technical assistance to the industry by way of designing and manufacturing of production tooling equipment, prototyping, and rendering training services to engineers, supervisors and technicians from a variety of industries throughout the country.