LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif inaugurated the Speedo Bus Service in Multan on Thursday.After the inauguration, he took a ride of the bus to examine its service quality. In the first phase, a total of 100 air-conditioned buses will be run on 11 different routes in Multan, and an e-ticketing system has been introduced for travelling.While addressing the inaugural ceremony, the chief minister congratulated the people of Multan over the launch of Speedo Bus Service there, and said that 100 buses had been provided for the service.“The people will travel in an honourable way on Metro and Speedo buses with a paltry sum of Rs 25 and the facility for physically challenged passengers has also been provided in these buses. After Lahore, the city of Multan has been blessed with this state-of-the-art public transport system,” he added.He said the journey of development and prosperity initiated by the PML-N government in southern Punjab had been unprecedented. “The people used to talk about the backwardness of southern Punjab, but was there any government in the history of the country that adopted practical steps for the development of this area? The credit goes to the PML-N Punjab government that has spent resources worth billions of rupees for the development and prosperity of southern Punjab. As much as Rs 85 billion have been spent on construction and rehabilitation of farm-to-market rural roads programme. Similarly, thousands of kilometres long rural roads have been constructed and repaired, and this initiative has brought new revolution in the rural economy.”He said that under the leadership of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, solid steps had been taken, including subsidy of billions of rupees on fertilisers. “In addition to it, the Punjab government has started a programme of providing interest-free loans to small farmers with an amount of Rs 100 billion. These loans have been provided to more than 200,000 small farmers, to date.”He said that a mega programme of providing clean drinking water was being started from southern Punjab and the contracts would be awarded at the end of this year. “Despite different obstacles, the clean drinking water programme is being started from 55 tehsils and a colossal sum of Rs 24 billion has been allocated for this project this year.” He said that Information Technology University project would be completed in Rahim Yar Khan this year, while work on Khanewal-Lodhran dual carriageway was in progress speedily with a cost of Rs 23 billion. “Meanwhile, the construction of Dera Ghazi Khan-Muzaffargarh Road is also being started soon and Rs 14 billion will be spent on this project.” He said that it was not a jugglery of words or any fiction story and people could see everything with their own eyes. “I don’t request any media praise but it should definitely project the different steps taken for the development of southern Punjab to enhance public awareness.”He said that hepatitis was spreading rapidly everywhere. “The Punjab government has started a revolutionary programme to eradicate this disease and hepatitis filter clinics, equipped with latest medical facilities, are being set up in all the districts of the province.” He announced immediate establishment of hepatitis filter clinics in Shujaabad and Multan and said that this project would be completed in the next four months.He said that Multan was a historic and densely populated city and the motorbikes ambulance service, which had been started in Lahore, would also be introduced in Multan in the next few weeks to provide first aid to the people of congested localities and other areas in case of any emergency.”This service will be extended to all nine divisions as well.” Published in Daily Times, October 13th 2017.