TAXILA, March 20: Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Syed Asif Hashmi said on Wednesday the government had spent Rs259.8 million on maintaining and improving facilities at Gurdwaras across the country.
Talking to reporters at Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Hassanabdal, Mr Hashmi said 22 other projects worth Rs152.604 million were in the pipeline.
Three projects are to be executed at Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore, 16 at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib and three at Gurdwara Punja Sahib.
?The aggressive plan could be judged from the fact that a sum of Rs45 million was spent on provision of various facilities and upkeep of various Gurdwaras in 2008, while Rs172 million was spent in just four months of 2009,? Mr Hashmi remarked.According to him, the ETPB gave attention to the safe and comfortable travel of the pilgrims to their Gurdwaras and temples.
?All kind of facilities are provided to Sikhs, Hindus and other minorities. Security and renovation of their places of worship is ensured and facilities are provided during festivals.? Mr Hashmi said the ETPB had also planned to establish a 100-bed hospital at the Punja Sahib, along with a modern and well-equipped trauma centre.
?The (proposed) hospital will not only provide health facilities to pilgrims, but also cater to the needs of minorities and local people living here.? Talking about the newlyconstructed Lungar Khana, the ETPB chief said work on the project was lingering on for more than five years, but the present government com pleted it in just four months.
The three-storey building has been built at a cost of Rs20 million, and nearly 500 people can have their meal at one time. Basement of the building will be used as kitchen, while the other two floors for dinning.
Responding a question, Mr Hashmi said due to prevailing law and order situation, foolproof security would be provided to Sikh yatrees during the upcoming Besakhi festival. ?All pilgrims would be provided with maximum facilities during their visit.? About measures for the welfare of employees, he said the ETPB would establish colonies for its employees all over the country.
Medical facilities have been improved and a fund for providing assistance to the employees on the occasion of marriages of their kin has also been increased