The Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Monday announced that all homeless families in the state will be provided seven-marla residential plots free-of-cost.
Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed made the announcement while chairing a meeting of senior government officials at his camp office in Mirpur.
The premier also unveiled various development projects to bring about a revolutionary change in the state, with a focus on ameliorating the lifestyle of the common man.
Majeed said that to combat the surging energy crisis, various hydropower projects are being launched to generate 1,500 megawatts of electricity. He said the 936 megawatt Neelam-Jhelum Hydropower Project is on the cards, and its groundbreaking is expected soon.
He said that a smaller but essential 1 mw hydropower project will be launched in the coming months at Jari Kass, Mirpur. He added that a Hydro Electric Board has been set up to devise and execute the proposed projects during the next fiscal year.
To provide impetus to the stagnant industrial and tourism sector, the premier said that entrepreneurs are being facilitated to invest in both sectors.
He said the government is promoting small industries as a priority.
The PM announced that the proposed Rs16.98 billion Mirpur International Airport has been placed in the Public Service Development Program (PSDP) for new fiscal year and its construction will begin shortly. He said the concerned authorities have been directed to ink the PC-1 of the mega project, adding that the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan has been asked to visit the proposed site to conduct a feasibility study.
The airport will open new vistas of economic progress through investment in tourism and industrial sectors, besides providing direct flights to over 1 million expatriates hailing from Mirpur division.
Majeed said that construction of a medical college in Rawalakot and an IT University campus in Kotli will also begin in the new fiscal year. Both projects have already been approved, he added.
Underscoring the government’s achievements during the past 11 months, he said that the government set up two medical colleges — one each in Mirpur and Muzaffarabad. Contradicting media reports, he assured that all admissions for the two medical colleges were made strictly on merit.
The PM said that all those affected by the Mangla Dam Raising Project have been rehabilitated through provision of residential plots in New Mirpur city and four small towns set up at Siakh, Islamgarh, Chakswari and Dadayal in Mirpur district. He said that the issue of rehabilitation of extended families of those affected by construction of Mangla Dam has also yet been resolved.
Majeed said that the Rs1 billion Kohala-Muzaffarabad Highways project has yet been approved and its construction work will soon be started by the National Highway Authority.
He said that carpeting of the Mujahid-e-Awwal Road, passing through Dhirkot in Poonch division, has been ordered. He also assured that the inter-AJK highway projects will also be completed during the year.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2012.
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