RAWALPINDI: Even as the provincial government has barred or frozen funds for development in Rawalpindi — either under the local government or as part of the special funds allocated for provincial assembly lawmakers, one parliamentarian has stated that development in the city remains a priority for the government and that work on projects will start from next month.
This was stated by the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) Chairman and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) provincial assembly member Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi in an interview with Daily Express on Wednesday.
Abbasi stated that the provincial government was cognisant of the issues faced by the residents of the garrison city and that new water supply schemes and the construction of a ring road were at the top of the provincial government’s priorities for the city.
Noting that funds for development works outlined for the city have been allocated and work will start in February, construction on both of these projects will start this year as well, he promised.
Detailing the water projects, Abbasi said that one of the projects include water supply from the Chahan Dam to the suburbs of the Rawalpindi district. Moreover, a water filtration plant will also be set up on Chahan dam. The dam will also produce power.
To resolve water supply issues, an overhead water tank will be built on Church Road. An initial grant for the construction of the project has been released.
The Charah and Daducha Dams will also be built over the next five years to address the water requirements of the city.
Noting that settlements on and around the Adiala Road require at least 0.6 million gallons of water per day but are currently only getting around 0.15 million gallons of water per day, a project to install nine tube wells and lay pipelines along Adiala Road at a cost of Rs380 million is ready.
The project, he said, will help bridge the demand and supply gap this year.
On the health front, the PEF chief said that all basic health units and dispensaries in Rawalpindi district are being upgraded.
With education a priority for the incumbent PTI government, a new polytechnical college and university will be set up in the district with the projects having already secured approval.
With the city currently facing a shortage of natural gas supply, he said that new, larger gas pipelines will be laid along Adiala Road.
For the public, a new family park has been built on 10 kanals of land in the Dhamma Syedan Union Council.
He added that an Rs20 million grant to build a 2.5-kilometre road from Dhamial to Kalian Union Council has been provided. A beautification drive for all the parks in the district will be launched. A modern beautification plan has been devised for Rawalpindi.
He reiterated his party’s anti-corruption stance and highlighted their zero-tolerance policy in this regard. All empty seats will be filled on merit this month only.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2019.