PAT terms Aashayana & Green Punjab as mega projects of corruption

The Research Wing of Pakistan Awami Tehreek has branded the Green Punjab Programme and Aashyana Housing Project of the Punjab government as farce and mega programmes of corruption. It regretted that the members belonging to opposition benches shy away from raising the corruption of the government at the floor of provincial assembly. Thus precious public money is wasted in the process.

According to the report issued by the Research Wing, the Punjab government has collected millions of rupees from the sale of forms only in the name of providing cheap houses to low-income people, which has not been accounted for. It said that the government has failed to construct even a few hundred houses despite playing politics in the name of Aashayana scheme for last three years. It said that the millions of rupees so collected from the sale of forms are being spent on the personal publicity of the Chief Minister Punjab. It said that 60,000 citizens have been fleeced again in the name of applications.

The report said that if 4 lac houses are constructed every year in order to provide houses to the homeless, it will take a period of 15 years to cater to the housing needs of 70% of low-income homeless families and the fact remains that despite having resources of public and private sectors at its disposal, the government has not been able to construct a few hundred houses to date. It said that embezzlement was detected at a large scale in tenders of Aashyana Housing Scheme located at Barki Road a few months ago and DG Anti-Corruption who was investigating into embezzlement was threatened of dire consequences and made an OSD because the names of the important personalities of the government were found to be involved in the scam. In the same way, an MPA, who had hinted at irregularities in the scheme, was also separated from it.

The report has further said that Green Punjab Programme of the government is yet another fraud. The fact of the matter is that a road infrastructure in the shape of farms to market roads spanning over 37000 KMs of worth Rs. 100 billion was already present in the province till 2008. Repair of these roads was required after every three years for their proper maintenance and Rs. 38,000 repair fund per km was released from the provincial kitty after every three years, which was not spent for 6 years on end. It said that had Rs. 1.5 billion been spent on repair and maintenance of market to farm roads after every three years, the road infrastructure of worth Rs. 100 billion would not have been destroyed.

The report said that the Punjab government is going to launch the project by the name of Green Punjab in order to push its criminal role under the carpet and address the intense hatred created against the PML-N in the villages. It said that if the government spends Rs. 15 billion every year during the remaining three years of its rule, it will be able to restore 45% road infrastructure with a whopping sum of Rs. 45 billion. It said that the destruction of market to farm roads not only caused an irreparable damage to agricultural economy but also affected the social life in the rural hinterland. It said that the ratio of robberies registered an increase of 110% during last five years due to dilapidated condition of roads.

The report further stated that Rs. 3 billion, released during the last six years, in the name of repair and maintenance of market to farm roads which are also called ‘Triple Surface Treatment Roads” in technical jargon, have been embezzled and no record of money exists anywhere.

The PAT spokesperson said that it had declared at the time of issuing fact sheet on one-year performance of the Punjab government that more facts regarding the government’s corruption and bad governance will be made public and this report on Punjab Green Programme and Aashyana Housing Schemes is link in the same chain. He said that report of bad governance and corruption in education and health sectors will be released soon. According to the spokesperson, the whole attention of the Punjab government remains focused on Lahore Metro Bus Road, Raiwind Road Lahore, Ring Road Lahore, Azadi chowk Lahore and Rawalpindi Metro Road, as a result of which 70% of rural Punjab is portraying a picture of a ruin.