PESHAWAR: The district administration of Chitral has demanded Rs10 billion to reconstruct infrastructure that was damaged in the wake of torrential rains.
The demand was put forward during a briefing given by Chitral DC Osama Warraich to Adviser to the Prime Minister Amir Muqam. The latter was on a visit to the flood-affected areas.
The district administrator apprised Muqam about relief activities, restoration and reconstruction efforts, availability of funds and the volume of the damage to infrastructure.
According to the DC, Rs16 billion is the reconstruction cost of damaged infrastructure. He added Rs10 billion was needed for the construction of government property such as roads, main bridges and buildings. On the other hand, Rs6 billion was needed for the reconstruction of private entities such as streets and small bridges. So far, both the federal and provincial governments collectively released just Rs744 million, the DC revealed in the briefing.
Speaking on the occasion, Muqam expressed his grief over the loss to infrastructure and extended his sympathies to the affected families.
He said the prime minister was focused on the problems of the district and its people. Muqam said this was the reason why a hefty fund was approved for Chitral compared to other districts.
He said Lowari Tunnel was one of the most important problems and needed to be solved without further delay. Muqam said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was monitoring the project personally.
“Last year, Rs6 billion was allocated for the tunnel, while Rs5 billion would be given later in the year to ensure its completion,” Muqam said.
He added construction of the approach road on both sides of the tunnel, Garam Chashma Road and Bumboret Road, have been included in federal projects. The adviser said traffic woes would be solved to a great extent through this initiative.
He asked MPAs from the district to pressurise the federal government to release Rs250 million approved for the reconstruction of bridges. Of the total amount, Rs50 million has been released thus far.
“I will get the remaining Rs250 million released,” he assured MPAs. Muqam added the Centre considered Chitral a special case and decided to provide electricity being generated from the Golen Gol hydropower project to solve power outages.
He said the PM’s announcement to waive agricultural loans of people from the district would be implemented. MNA Iftikharuddin, MPAs Salim Khan, Bibi Fauzia and Chitral district nazim Maghfirat Shah were also present in the briefing.
Meanwhile, Eid was celebrated throughout the district where congregations were held in mosques and eidgahs. The largest gathering of people was at Ewan-e-Eidgah where thousands showed up and offered prayers. Proper security arrangements were made to avoid any untoward incident and police personnel were deployed outside.
Prayer leader Maulana Kamaluddin shed light on the importance of Ramazan and Eid. People also prayed for those who lost their lives in the floods or had their houses washed away.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2016.
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