Balochistan schools, hospitals exempt from two weekly holidays

Shahzad Baloch May 03, 2010

QUETTA: Chief Minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani has announced an exemption for educational institutions and hospitals from two weekly holidays.

He made the announcement during the session of the Balochistan Assembly. Earlier, the Minister for Power and Irrigation, Sardar Aslam Bizenjo opposed the five-working day week saying that more than the half of the province is suffering due to severe power shortage and massive power outages. He added that there are several districts where electricity is not available at all and therefore, there is no justification for conservation of power in Balochistan.

Bizenjo demanded that in the interest of the people, schools and hospitals should not be allowed two days off as people are already suffering due to lack of facilities and insufficient staff. Raisani announced that a weekly off day will be observed by hospitals and schools on Sundays only. Members of the assembly protested over the ridiculously long hours of power outages saying that it has paralysed the agricultural sector.

Minister for Industries, Syed Ehsan Shah, said that Iran has provided 35 MW of electricity to grid stations in Mekran Division and offered yet another project to supplement the power supply. It will help resolve the power crisis in Balochistan. Shah also informed the house that the federal government had allocated Rs70 billion for the development of different sectors but so far the province has received only Rs20 billion.

He criticised the attitude towards Balochistan saying “The federal government uses different pretexts to not release the earmarked funds.” Raisani assured the assembly that he would take up the issue during his upcoming visit to Iran on May 18. He expressed concern over the interruption to the construction of national highways saying that the federal government has allocated Rs4.25 billion which has not yet been released and caused delay to the construction.

“National Highway Authority (NHA) Chairman assured me if the Rs50 million will be released and construction work will be resumed,” said Raisani adding that federal government should inform us whether it had released the funds or not. Rubina Irfan expressed dissatisfaction over the distribution of government advertisements in newspapers regarding the Aghaz-e-Haqooqe Balochistan Package saying that the government had allocated Rs1.22 billion for advertising campaign however, most advertisements were published in newspapers in other provinces.

“It is an injustice and discriminatory to the local media since the people of Balochistan prefer to read local newspapers,” Irfan said

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