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Gym floor ‘damaged’ by Gujrat chamber event

Gym floor ‘damaged’ by Gujrat chamber event

GUJRAT: The inapt arrangement of the Gujrat Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s annual general meeting (AGM) at the newly-built gymnasium damaged its wooden floor.

The first-of-its-kind gymnasium in Gujrat was built at a cost of Rs80 million and its floor was damaged due to ‘rough use’ by the business community.

Federal Minister for Planning and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal was present there as the chief guest, with Gujrat acting DCO Irfan Ali Kathia and ruling party’s MPA Imran Zafar were also among the guests.

Haji Nasir Mehmood, a former PML-N MPA, pressured the local administration to allow the use of the gymnasium for the chamber’s function.

The project of sports gymnasium located along Bhimbher Road was launched by the PML-Q government in 2007. Subsequently, it faced an inordinate delay due to the change of government and finally it was inaugurated after a lapse of eight years on Aug 14 last.

Sources say at least Rs10 million were spent on the wooden floor meant for badminton, basketball, table tennis and other indoor games. The GTCCI made seating arrangement at the wooden floor besides serving meals to the participants, causing damage to it.

Local sportsmen protested against the district administration but the authorities bowed to the pressure of the ruling party. A delegation of sportsmen took up the matter with the acting DCO and showed him the footage and pictures of the damaged portions of the floor. The DCO visited the gymnasium and inspected the floor, where Haji Nasir Mehmood (who also heads the ruling Shaheen group of the GTCCI) reached and assured the sportsmen that the dirty floor would be cleaned and polished.

An official of the GTCCI told Dawn that the annual meeting was actually planned to be held in the lawns of the district council but the plan was changed two days before the event due to rainy weather conditions.

An official of the sports department said the resourceful businessmen should have arranged the event at any banquet hall instead of disturbing the sports-loving people and damaging a public facility. Earlier, they had damaged the cricket ground of the Zahoor Elahi Stadium by organising the annual industrial exhibition and that too without paying any fee to the government and the ground was yet to be brought back to its original condition, he said.

Pak brands: Federal Minister for Planning and Reform Ahsan Iqbal vowed to add 10,000 megawatts (MWs) to the national grid till 2018 besides introducing five Pakistan brands in the global market with government’s support.

He said the government planned to increase exports up to $150 billion in the next 10 years.

Addressing the annual general meeting of the Gujrat Chamber of Commerce and Industry late on Tuesday.

The minister said the government was trying to resolve the energy crisis, adding that a cut in load shedding showed their efforts.

He said the PML-N government had acquired Rs105 billion land for the Diamir-Bhasha Dam even though Gen Pervez Msuharraf and then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had laid the foundation stone of the project in their tenures.

He said 6,600MW would be generated through Thar coalmines in the next five years but seeing such progress, the enemies of Pakistan were creating hurdles.

He said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project would be a economic game changer.

Mr Iqbal said that only a strong brand could survive and progress in the global market and Pakistan’s companies should establish brands as the government would help them in seeking international quality standard certificates.

He said modern machinery would be provided to the fan development institute.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2015

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