Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari today called for expediting the early completion of mega developmental projects in Balochistan to provide jobs and opportunities to the people and bring the province at par with rest of the country and address the sense of deprivation among its people.
The province’s speedy development is the top priority of the government, the President said while chairing a high level meeting to review progress on mega development projects and called upon the state functionaries to step up their efforts as the government could brook no further delay.
The meeting was attended by the Prime Minister, Governor Balochistan , Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, Chief Minister Balochistan, Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani, Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh, Mir Israrullah Zehri, minister for food and agriculture, Mr. Changez Khan Jamali, Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Water and Power, Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the President, Senator Dr. Babar Awan, Mr. Asim Kurd Gello, Finance Minister Balochistan, Sardar M. Aslam Bazinjo, Balochistan irrigation minister, Dr. Nadeem Ul Haq, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, federal secretaries finance, , planning and Development, water and power, ports and shipping, communications, Chairman WAPDA, Chairman NHA, Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar, Mir Ahmad Buksh Lehri, Chief Secretary Balochistan , Secretary irrigation Balochistan, ACS (Development) Balochistan, Mr. Abdul Jabbar Khan IG of federal projects MD PEPCO, Chairman NHA, Chairman PARC and other high officials of the relevant departments.
Briefing the media persons about the meeting Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that four separate presentations were given today each by Dr. Nadeem Ul Haq, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Mir Ahmad Buksh Lehri, Chief Secretary Balochistan, Mr. Muhammad Ali Gardezi, Chairman NHA and Mr. Shakil Durrani, Chairman WAPDA on development projects in infrastructure, transport and communication system, water sector projects including small and medium dams and other projects under the Aghaz-e- Haqooq-e –Balochistan.
The meeting was informed that out of 1180 ongoing projects being executed through PSDP of current year (2011-12) throughout the country, 133 projects costing Rs 305 billion are being executed in Balochistan alone. A sum of Rs 126 billion has already been spent on these projects up to June, 2011 and an additional allocation of Rs 28 billion has been made during the current year for federal projects in Balochistan out of PSDP, the briefing said. The meeting was also informed about various schemes and projects being implemented in Balochistan as part of Aghaz-e- Haqooq-e –Balochistan including Dera Bugti Development Package, Quetta development package, Kohlu development package, Sui package and other development schemes.
Mr. Imtiaz Kazi, Secretary Water and Power and Mr. Shakil Durrani, Chairman WAPDA while giving presentation on water sector projects informed the meeting that at present 23 water sector projects are being financed including small dams costing Rs over 111 billion. Over Rs. 10 billion have been allocated during the current financial year for these projects.
The Chairman WAPDA informed that two water sectors projects Mirani Dam and Sabakzai Dam have already been completed with a combined cost of nearly eight billion rupees. Mirani Dam has water storage capacity of 0.152 MAF with irrigated area 33,200 acres and Sabakzai Dam has storage capacity of 0.015 MAF with irrigated area of 6,875 acres.
Chairman WAPDA informed that meeting that almost 60% of work has been completed on Kachhi Canal water project which will irrigate 102,000 acres in first phase which will increase to over 700,000 acres after the completion of second phase of the project. The President directed that the Kachhi water project should be completed on priority basis so that the people drew immediate benefit from the project.
RBOD – III, a drainage project will be completed by June 2012 with an estimated cost of nearly 4.5 billion which will benefit an area of over 287,000 acres of area. The Chairman WAPDA also briefed the meeting on small and medium dams projects in Balochistan including Naulong Dam, Winder Dam, Hingol Dam, Pelar Dam, Garuk Dam and Hub Dam.
Chairman NHA briefed the meeting on highways, airports and infrastructure development projects and said that Rs. 8.5 billion have been allocated for the 17 roads projects in the province. He said that Airport at Gwadar is financed as a special case by the federal government through PSDP. Rs 1.5 billion have been paid for land acquisition and during the current year 2011-12, Rs 1.1 billion have been allocated for construction of Gwadar Port.
The President said that future of the country is dependent on the success of Gwadar Port and urged for early completion of Gwadar airport and other roads and infrastructure projects linking the Gwadar port with other parts of the country so as ensure robust trade. The President during the meeting stressed for early establishment of the colleges announced at Khuzdar and Loralai besides providing funding for Turbat and Loralai universities. He assured that the government, despite difficult economic situation would take all possible steps to available funding for the various mega development projects being undertaken under the Aghaz-e- Haqooq-e –Balochistan.
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