–Imran says nobody should be left out in the cold without a shelter
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday directed the governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to set up temporary shelters for the homeless people who could not be accommodated in the existing Panaghs in this extreme cold weather.
In a tweet, the prime minister said that given the extremely cold weather conditions, he had asked the chief ministers of Punjab and KP to ensure that no person is left out without shelter.
“Their administrations must take immediate action to provide temporary shelters plus food for those who cannot be accommodated in existing Panagahs,” the prime minister directed.
The establishment of Panagahs was one of the foremost projects executed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) government soon after it came to power.
On November 10, 2018, the prime minister broke ground for the construction of tent shelters in Lahore to provide a roof to homeless people. Under the banner of Panagah these shelters were temporary until permanent structures were built.
Taking notice of the fact that the people were sleeping along almost all major intersections, markets, and bus and railway stations, the PM said is the establishment of Panagahs was the “first step towards transforming Pakistan into a welfare state”.
Following the PM’s orders, the Punjab government set up makeshift shelters at Data Darbar, Railway Station and Thokar Lorry Adda. There are tents functioning near the Railway Station, Thokar Niaz Baig and Sabzi Mandi. One tent can accommodate 30 to 70 homeless people or travellers who usually recline on the footpaths. They are provided free pillows, mattresses, comforters, and food, including breakfast and dinner.
On November 25, 2018, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar arranged and overviewed tents and food for homeless people sleeping on footpaths after directives issued by the prime minister.
The premier had asked the Punjab CM to set up tents and provide food to the homeless people sleeping on footpaths. In his tweet, the premier had maintained that the homeless must be facilitated until the shelters are built as the weather is gradually turning colder. “I have asked CM Punjab to set up tents for people sleeping on footpaths and provide them food until the Panahgahs are built, as the weather is turning increasingly cold,” he had said.
The prime minister had stressed the poor and the homeless needed to be protected and taken care of and added that the PTI government was committed to building a social net for them so that everyone had a shelter and access to health and education. He had said that those coming to the Panahgahs represented the voiceless who were not even voters. He had added that the visitors should also be offered food.
He had further said that a Board of Governors (BoG) would oversee the maintenance and functioning of these centres. The BoG will finalise the policy for the shelter homes, he had added.
Similarly, the KP government was also providing roof and food to the homeless people in different cities. The federal government had also established a couple of such facilities in the capital.