ISLAMABAD - The government has decided to pool its resources for expeditious completion of the Kachhi Canal project this year. This decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by the prime minister to review the ongoing development projects under the Public Sector Development Programme at the PM’s House.
Kachhi Canal project is of immense importance for Balochistan, as it would enable the province to draw its share of water from the Indus irrigation system. He added that the project would irrigate more than 700,000 acres of land in a phased programme in Balochistan.
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf directed the Finance Ministry to immediately release Rs 6 billion required for the completion of the project. The meeting also decided to complete Dadu-Khuzdar transmission line on fast-track basis. It was also decided that Kalat-Quetta-Chaman Road would be completed before the end of this year.
The prime minister directed the fast-track completion of Kalat-Rato Dero, Khori-Qubi Saeed Khan Section (Kuhzdar-Rato Dero Road) and Gawader-Rato Dero Road.
“Our government had persistently increased the development expenditure from Rs 416 billion in 2009-10 to Rs 873 billion for PSDP 2012-13 at an average growth rate of 20 percent during the last four years. Our priority is to complete the projects which are near completion so that its benefits could start reaching the people as early as possible,” said the prime minister.
During the meeting, the prime minister observed that though the allocation of public sector development funds had increased over the years, their impact had been missing as the projects could not be completed in time for one reason or the other. He said the approval of the projects should be accorded keeping in view their national and strategic importance.
The prime minister said that he would personally inspect the projects to review their progress. He directed the Ministry of Finance to release funds for the projects as approved in the meeting since they were of great significance. He also observed that all health-related projects should be completed on priority.
During the briefing, Lt-Gen (r) Shahid Niaz, member, Implementation and Monitoring of Planning Division, said that only those projects had been identified which were nearing completion. The prime minister appreciated the work done by the Planning Commission for coordination and implementation of the development projects in the country.
The meeting was attended by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Nadeem-ul-Haq, Senator Syda Sughra Imam, secretaries of finance, planning, EA divisions, WAPDA chairman, NHA chairman and other senior government officials.
A PROJECT HIT BY MILITANCY:
The project has been marred by attacks from militants since it started in 2006. Engineers, more than 22, were kidnapped from the project site in Sui in November, 2006. The kidnappers also burnt 9 tractors and a bulldozer.
Meanwhile, talking to Climate Change Minister Rana Muhammad Farooq Saeed Khan who called on Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf at the Prime Minister’s House, he said the government was committed to decreasing pollution and improving the environment. The minister apprised the prime minister of the ongoing monsoon tree-plantation campaign in Islamabad. He maintained that 500,000 saplings would be planted during the monsoon. The minister also apprised the prime minister about implementation status of Pak-II (Euro-II) emission standards adopted by the federal government in 2009. It is a modern technology to improve fuel quality by reducing sulphur content in the fuel.
The prime minister appreciated the initiative of the Ministry of Climate Change and said that it would help Islamabad become pollution-free and greener, added the prime minister.
He asked the minister to direct all the refineries to expedite the process of producing low sulphur diesel.“We must improve fuel quality and introduce modern technology in vehicles to bring the pollution level down in the cities for protecting public health,” said the prime minister.