Nankana model city given go-ahead
By Anjum Gill
LAHORE: The Punjab government has drawn up the final plans to develop Nankana Sahib as a model city. The go-ahead to begin work on the projects was given at a meeting chaired by the Punjab chief secretary in the presence of the secretaries of finance, local government and rural development, health, tourism, education and planning and development.
The chief secretary, at a meeting on Monday, formed a committee headed by the housing secretary to oversee progress in Nankana Sahib. The committee will meet fortnightly and report to the chief secretary.
He also directed the education department to get a substitute building for Boys College approved within a month so that work to covert it into a rest house for Sikh pilgrims could commence.
Other plans to develop the city include: a fifty-room 3-star hotel, a modern shopping mall, a fifty-acre housing scheme, sewerage and water supply to 12 slums, a modern hospital, a fire brigade station, a small housing project, and a carpeted road from Nankana Sahib to the Lahore-Faisalabad dual-carriage way.
In addition to this, a road from Wagah to Lahore Ring Road and to Lahore-Faisalabad Dual carriage way is also planned.
Currently Nankana Sahib is a small town lacking modern facilities. With a population of about 50,000, housed in about 8,000 housing units, it has a college for boys and girls each, a couple of high schools for boys and a high school for girls, a 58-bed Tehsil Headquarter Hospital and a private hospital with 9-beds.
Every year some 25,000 yatrees come to the city for pilgrimage and during the peak season some 15,000 gather from around the world. It is significant to Sikh pilgrims because the pioneer of Sikh religion, Guru Nanak Dev, was born there. Nankana Sahib houses Gurdwara Janam Asthan, one of the holiest places for Sikhs, and eight gurdwaras (Sikh temples).