CM chairs meeting on highway schemes under NHA

Peshawar: KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has stressed on National Highway Authority (NHA) for ensuring timely and quality completion of all ongoing highways projects, saying beside increase in expenditure, the delay is bearing negative impact on tourism and economic activities in the province.

He was presiding over a meeting regarding ongoing and new projects in highway sector of the province in CM Secretariat Peshawar. The meeting took a detailed review of all schemes of NHA and took vital decisions in that regard.

The chief minister made it clear that they want speedy and transparent work in the province and don’t need multiple high cost projects on the pattern of Punjab, which though would complete in few months, but its aftermath would be born the people in shape of heavy debts. He said the country could not afford such heavy expenses which would chain the people in new taxes and economic slavery. He said that they are building the capacity of their departments to complete quality and speedy schemes in minimum time period.

Expressing sorrow and concern over discrimination of small provinces by centre and usurping their schemes and rights, the chief minister said that it looks that federal government under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) has given schemes of Rs.90 billion to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but due to deduction at source its worth has become even less then Rs.30 billion, which is like peanut. Similarly, he said their schemes have been either delayed and sent to cold storage and deleted from the PSDP and there are also the complaints of the transfer of their fund to other projects, which is not suited for centre nor matches its status.

Besides, Chairman, NHA Shahid Ashraf Tarar, different project directors and managers, Advisor to CM on Communication and Works (C&W), Akbar Ayub Khan, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Khalid Pervez, Principal Secretary to CM, Mohammad Ashfaq Khan, higher authorities of the departments of C&W, environment, Pakhtunkhwa Highway Authority (PHA) also attended the meeting.

On this occasion, the chief minister was told that Peshawar Northern Bypass Road, Hassanabadal-Havilian Expressway, Motorway M1 Chugalpura Section, Chamkani Interchange, Chakdara-Kalam Road (N-95), Chakdara-Dir Upper Road (N-45), Peshawar-D.I.Khan Indus Highway (N-55), Lowari Tunnel and different steps for acceleration of work on other projects also come under discussion.

The meeting decided that in construction of Swat Expressway, NHA would cooperate with provincial government. The chief minister said that the mega project is being publicized for attracting foreign investment in which the cooperation of NHA would also be welcomed.

The meeting also took a decision that the provincial department of environment would cooperate with NHA in establishment of green belt, plantation and planting of fruit bearing trees on both sides of G.T. Road from Attock to Peshawar and Motorway. The looking after of the green belt and plants would be the responsibility of NHA.

The chief minister, however expressed severe anguish that despite written agreement, when the provincial government started the project of the plantation of trees and fruit bearing plants on G.T. Road, NHA stopped the department of environment from work on which the chairman NHA tendered apology and explained attributing it to misunderstanding.

The chairman NHA said that in future the authority in tree plantation would extend full cooperation to the department of environment and the precious funds of the provincial government would be let to waste. While agreeing with the proposal of the eradication of maximum water consuming trees and bushes in the jurisdiction of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on G.T. Road and Motorway and plantation of beautiful trees and plants, he assured full cooperation to provincial government.

Pervez Khattak made it further clear that the PTI led coalition government has started a huge Billion Tree Tsunami plantation campaign under which all barren and unpleasant looking parts would be turned clean and green.

The measure, he said would bear pleasant impact on the environment of the whole country. He said that discrimination in national building and progress, provincial and federal departments in name of mine and yours should be abolished at once, saying all are national institutes and the secret of national salvation and unity is laying in it.

The chairman, NHA expressed gratitude to chief minister for provision of hefty funds and loans for development projects and assured that the previous loan of Rs.140 million would be returned to the provincial government very soon. He said that work on the flood affected Chakdara-Kalam Road has been further accelerated which is completed till Madiyan and the dilapidated conditions of the Kalam Highway would also be removed in next few months of summer.

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