MIRPUR: Prime Minister (PM) Yousaf Raza Gilani was present in Mirpur on Monday, where he laid the foundation stones of two development projects, most notably the Rs4.23 billion Hazrat Meeran Shah Bridge.
The bridge, approximately seven kilometres in length, will be the longest bridge in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and will connect Mirpur city with Islamgarh town.
It is being constructed in the wake of the Mangla Dam Raising Project and is expected to be completed by August 2014.
It is expected that the bridge will reduce the distance between Mirpur and Islamgarh from 23 to seven kilometres, besides opening up new avenues for tourism in the area.
Apart from that, the bridge will also reduce the travelling time between Mirpur and Kotli district.
Speaking on the occasion, the PM said the welfare of people in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) is the top priority of the government.
In addition to that, he held the groundbreaking ceremony of a new campus of Mirpur University of Science and Technology, which will be built in Jari Kass at an estimated cost of Rs1.56 billion. The project will be funded by the Higher Education Commission and the AJK Council.
Addressing the participants, the PM urged students to work hard to overcome the current challenges.
Quoting Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the PM advised students to concentrate on gaining knowledge and education.
Highlighting the importance of political awareness, he called it an essential part of education
In addition to that, the PM announced an airport for Mirpur city, saying that it would be “a milestone for the city’s development.”
He also announced Rs70 million for upgradation of Poonch Medical College, which has been established by the government of UAE. The funds, he said, will be disbursed over two years.
Apart from that, the PM inaugurated a rebroadcasting station of Pakistan Television in Bhimber and directed the information minister to shift Tarar Khal Radio Station from Rawalpindi to Poonch.
He lauded the role of media in highlighting the plight of people in AJK and announced Rs10 million for Mirpur Press Club.
“My visit to AJK gives me a sense of satisfaction every time and invigorates in me the spiritual bond between the people of Pakistan and AJK,” he said.
The PM was accompanied by Minister for Information and Broadcastinf Firdous Ashiq Awan, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, Minister for Information Technology Changeiz Khan Jamali, AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed, AJK President Yaqoob Khan and other federal government officials.
With additional input from APP