3 towns to be added to Lahore district
By Qamar Jabbar
LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to add three more towns to Lahore district in order to make administration easier, sources told Daily Times. The three new towns are Shah Jamal, Mian Mir and Madholal Hussain.
Since the announcement of the Lahore Ring Road, the population of Lahore has spread to Sattu Katla village in the south and up to Jallo More and Bedian Road in the north. Keeping this expansion in view, the government has decided to increase the number of towns under section 9(1)(2) of the Punjab Local Government Ordinance, 2001.
According to new division, Aziz Bhatti Town, Shalimar Town and Nishtar Town will consist of 16 union councils (UC) each, while Data Gunj Baksh, Allama Iqbal Town, Ravi Town, Mian Mir, Shah Jamal and Madholal Hussain will have 17 UCs each.
The government is yet to add administrative staff for the new towns (a town municipal officer and four municipal officers). The demarcation process of the UCs in the nine towns are underway.
According to the Punjab Local Government (Amendment) Ordinance, 2005, each UC will have a nazim, a naib nazim, four Muslim male councillors, two Muslim female councillors, two male peasant workers, two female peasant workers and one minority councillor. Females are also eligible for the seats of nazim and naib nazim.
PML-N sources said that the government had made the decision to weaken the opposition in the upcoming local bodies elections, which “were a test for the government to check its popularity”. “Ravi Town and Data Gunj Baksh were broken up to split the PML-N vote bank. The two towns are heavily populated with PML-N and PPP voters.”
Former parliamentarians Mian Shahbaz Ahmad and Mian Abdus Sattar are the hot favourites for the Data Gunj Baksh and Ravi Town nazim seats.
Muhammad Ashiq Dial, Shalimar Town nazim, Sardar Adil Umer of Iqbal Town and Maj (r) Rafique Hasrat of Nishtar Town will contest under the banner of PML. In Madholal Hussain, the PML will either support Mian Ikhlaq Guddo or Mian Hamid Miraj.
The PPP, PML-N, Tehreek-e-Insaf and Jammat-e-Islami are also negotiating to field joint candidates under the platform of ‘Jamhoori Group’. For the Lahore district nazim seat, Mian Misbaur Rehman and Muhammad Arshad Ghurki from PPP, Khawaja Ahmad Hassan of PML-N and Hafiz Salman Butt of Jammat-e-Islami are under consideration.