Lahore : The Punjab government has launched free internet service (wifi hotspot) at over 200 places of five big cities of Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan and Bahawalpur while this service will also be available at 16 places in Murree. Lakhs of citizens will benefit from this service and they will get convenience in making contacts.
Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif inaugurated the free internet service at a ceremony held at Irfa Kareem Software Technology Park by pressing a button.
Addressing the ceremony, the chief minister said the launch of the free internet service at five big cities is a huge step toward converting the province to the digital system. He said the Punjab government has taken revolutionary measures for the promotion of the IT and performance many of several government departments has been enhance by utilizing IT.
He said old system of patwaris has been replaced by the Land Record Information Management System which has provided relief to the people and the land matters have been made easy and rural population of five crore and 60 lakh has been directly benefited from this system. He said in the old system a farmer used to get ownership document of their land after paying bribes and spending a lot of time, but in the current system ownership document can be obtained in 30 minutes without any bride while matters of transfer of land takes place in 45 minutes.
He said patwari culture, bribes, and corruption have been eliminated through new system and it has provided relief to the people. He said the credit of this project launched with the cooperation of the World Bank goes to the whole team of the Punjab government.
Shahbaz Sharif said all police stations have been computerised and FIR is registered through computer and this process has been made paper-free and no change in FIR is possible now. He said former IGP Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera has played vital role in the computerisation of police stations and he hopes the new IGP will also continue his legacy because ‘afsar shahi’ has been eliminated by computers in police stations.
He said IT labs have been set up in all government schools in Punjab and now 50,000 tablets will be also distributed that is another giant step towards utilizing latest technology. He said during dengue epidemic IT was used and this epidemic was controlled. He said the dengue control through IT is the great lesson to follow this model in all fields of the life. He said the future of Pakistan is connected to IT and we can move forward by utilizing modern knowledge.
The chief minister said IT University is operating in Irfa Kareem Technology Park while new campus of the university is being set up by acquiring land worth billions of rupees on Badian Road and the land has been handed over to its VC Dr Umar Saif who has promised to set up the new campus in one year. He said the IT University will be great achievement and funds for it will be earmarked in the forthcoming budget.
ShahbazSharif said the foundation stone of Bhikki power plant of 1180 MW was laid on October 9, 2015 and this project was inaugurated on April 19, 2017 and a sum of Rs50 billion has been saved in this project and this saving is the real saving. He said performance of turbine at Bhikki is most efficient in the world.
He said performance of turbine in Guddu power plant installed in the past was 54 per cent and benchmark of Nepra is 57 per cent while the efficiency of turbine of Bhikki is 61.9 per cent that is the top efficiency in the world. He said on the one hand there is Neelum Jhelum project of 985 MW that is still incomplete despite the passage of 18 year while on the other hand there is 1180 MW Bhikki power plant that has been completed in the record minimum time of 18 months and this project has started providing 717 MW to the national grid in the first phase.
Chairman PITB Dr Umar Saif briefed about steps taken to introduce e-governance and the use of the IT in education, health, police and other sectors. He also told about the purpose of free internet service. He said CM Shahbaz Sharif has extraordinary capabilities and ensures the completion of projects at the fast pace due to which the term ‘Punjab Speed’ is known in the whole world.
He said IT has brought about revolution in several departments while KPK and Sindh governments have sought cooperation from the Punjab government to bring about improvement in the performance of government departments and CM Shahbaz Sharif has directed to provide all-out cooperation to both provincial governments.
Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha also addressed the ceremony. Provincial ministers, lawmakers, senior officers of Punjab and IT experts also participated in the ceremony.
At the end of the ceremony chairman PITC Dr. Umar Saif presented a shield to the chief minister. While CM Shahbaz Sharif presented shields to Project Manager of Free Internet Service Sajjad Ghani, experts and officers.