PESHAWAR: The provincial government has decided to give locals greater representation in a project to set up a national park in the Kumrat Valley of Upper Dir.
The decision came after a request was made by locals of the valley.
This decision was taken by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Sunday while meeting with an 18-member delegation from Upper Dir headed by a local member of national assembly Sahibzada Sibghatullah at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat in Peshawar. The delegation included MNA Shibghatullah, MPA Inayatullah, MPA Sahibzada Sanaullah and MPA Bacha Saleh.
The delegation briefed the chief minister about the reservations locals had over the national park in the valley. They requested that the government provide members of the local community property rights.
CM Mahmood said that the provincial government wants to promote tourism in the area which will bring economic stability. He added that tourism cannot be promoted in the area unless the local community supports the move and cooperates with the government.
“The government will promote tourism in Kumrat so as to improve the living standard of the local community,” he added.
“The money earned from tourism in Kumrat will be reutilized in the Kumrat valley on commercial lines,” he said.
He assured the visiting delegation that the demands and wishes of the locals will be fulfilled on a priority basis. He directed the local deputy commissioner to sit with the residents of the valley and to sort out issues pertaining to the National Park.
Further, Mahmood directed the construction of roads and other developmental projects in the valley on a priority basis. “The protection of forests in Kumrat Valley will be ensured at any cost,” he said.
After ensuring the property rights, the K-P chief minister said that the government will work on building the natural park in Kumrat apart from giving greater representation to locals in the project.
Chief Minister’s principal secretary, sports secretary, Upper Dir Deputy Commissioner, Chief Wild Life Conservator and Chief Forest Conservator also attended the meeting.
K-P to set up skill endowment fund
In a bid to boost employment opportunities for the youth and to take advantage of emerging opportunities, the provincial chief executive on Sunday agreed in principle to set up a Skill Endowment Fund to develop skilled human resource in the province.
This was decided by K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Sunday in a meeting he chaired. Senior Minister Atif Khan, Finance Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra, Mineral and Mines Minister Dr Amjad Ali Khan, Punjab Skills Development Fund MD and administrative secretaries also attended the meeting on this occasion.
The meeting discussed in detail the demand-and-supply situation of skilled labour in the market and decided that proper training was key to enable unemployed youngsters to secure employment within and outside the country.
The meeting also discussed in detail the exploration and development of mines and minerals in the province.
Mahmood decided to set up a task force, headed by the Minerals Minister Dr Amjad and stressed that the committee produces meaningful results within a year.
Regarding the skill development fund, he said that it would help provide employment opportunities to youngsters apart from fulfilling the needs of the market.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2019.