Pakistan

Pakistan: PM stresses water resources promotion

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QUETTA, Jan 21: Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali on Tuesday directed the Balochistan government to give priority to construction of delay action and check dams under the Public Sector Development Programme to enhance underground water.

During a briefing about the uplift schemes, drought situation and relief activities in the province at Chief Minister's Secretariat, he said an agriculture college would be established in Khanpur, Nasirabad district, at a cost of Rs800 million.

He said gas pipelines would be laid down up to Ziarat and later to Chaman, Mastung and Kalat.

The prime minister stressed development of road sector in the province. He said Rs1 billion had been allocated for repair and maintenance of roads in Balochistan and promised to allocate more funds in this regard.

He directed the provincial planning and development department to prepare PC-1 for construction of road to connect Usta Mohammed to Indus Highway through Garhi Khairo and Shehdadkot.

Provincial secretaries for irrigation and planning and development while briefing the prime minister said relief items worth over Rs1.6 billion were being distributed among people in drought-hit areas of the province under drought relief programme.

He was informed that 131 schemes funded by World Bank under Drought Emergency Recovery Assistance Programme had been completed while 51 schemes financed by Asian Development Bank under Drought Mitigation Relief Programme were in progress. The projects included construction of delay action dams, desilting of Karezat and schemes in communications, irrigation and water supply sectors, the officials said.

Another 503 medium and long-term drought relief projects were in progress at a cost of Rs737 million, they said.

The Prime Minister Jamali was informed that 522 schemes would be completed during the current fiscal year under Public Sector Development Programme for which the federal government was providing Rs5.8 billion and the provincial government, Rs2.6 billion.

The officials said Rs740 million were being spent on the education sector, Rs170 million on water supply and Rs84 million on health under the programme.

They said the federal government had promised to provide Rs1 billion for carrying out development schemes under Khushhal Pakistan Programme out of which the province had so far received Rs145 million. The planning and development department had chalked out 360 schemes for the programme, they said.

Zafarullah Jamali was informed about the progress on major projects launched by the federal government and receipt of funds by the province under the National Finance Commission award.

The prime minister expressed satisfaction over drought relief activities and development projects.

He laid special emphasis on promotion of water resources and controlling its wastage besides obtaining opinion from elected representatives in devising uplift schemes.

He directed the provincial government to curtail non-development budget to gear up development activities in the province.

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