K-P to improve agri-industrial base in DI Khan

CM Mahmood Khan wants issues of drainage in DI Khan resolved on priority

​ Our Correspondent December 16, 2019
A Reuters file photo of an agricultural field.

PESHAWAR: As part of their strategy to develop the southern district of Dera Ismail Khan (DI Khan), the provincial government on Sunday lifted the veil on some of the projects it aims to complete in the district, including watercourses to feed cultivable fields and providing power to industrial zones.

This was disclosed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Sunday during a meeting with a delegation from DI Khan, led by Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and DI Khan native Ali Amin Gandapur. The meeting was held at the Chief Minister House in Peshawar.

During the meeting a briefing was given on upgrading an agricultural institute there to the level of an agriculture university, the establishment of nurseries for fisheries, watercourses, the Chashma Right Bank Lift Canal (CRBC) project, maintenance of road infrastructure, drinking water problems, agricultural and drainage issues, health, education and other issues in the district.

Chief Minister Mahmood asked the DI Khan Deputy Commissioner and other local government officials to resolve the issues of drainage in the district on priority.

He further stated that existing agricultural land and barren fields will be made cultivable in DI Khan by setting up watercourses.

Moreover, to improve industrialization in the district, he said that electric power at cheap rates will be supplied to industrial zones through wheeling. This will not only help increase employment opportunities for locals but will also attract investors.

Mahmood further directed to initiate work on the CRBC project with both the provincial agriculture and irrigation departments directed to work together to complete it.

Once complete, the province will help irrigate over 300,000 acres of agricultural land in the district boosting not only the agricultural produce of the district but provide gainful employment and feed the associated industries, thereby contributing the economy of the province.

Further, the construction of the Peshawar-DI Khan Expressway will further enhance commercial and economic activities in the district by improving access.

On the other hand, the completion of the Gomal Zam Dam will help improve water supply to the rural areas and provision of power.

CM Mahmood also directed to resolve the problem of drinking water in the neighbouring Tank district, adding that schemes in this respect have already been identified.

He directed the Tank deputy commissioner to ensure that all small and major developmental schemes are implemented in consultation with the elected public representatives of the area.

During a briefing on development projects in the education sector of the district, it was informed that Rs360 million have been allocated for 85 different schemes, including the establishment of 11 new primary schools — work on which has been completed. Work on four remaining primary schools is currently underway.

Moreover, five mosque schools have been converted into regular schools while tenders for another have been issued.

Similarly, five primary schools have been upgraded to middle schools while five high schools have been upgraded to higher secondary schools. Similarly, two schools have been completed as part of a rehabilitation plan for schools while work on rehabilitating the remaining four schools is in progress.

Mahmood said that provision of doctors and other allied staff for new wards of DI Khan hospital will also be ensured on priority, adding that provincial government is working to ensure availability of required staff in all the hospitals throughout the province.

The meeting was also attended by Advisor to the Chief Minister on Newly-Merged Tribal Districts Ajmal Wazir, members of the provincial assembly from DI Khan, administrative secretaries of the concerned departments and other senior officials.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2019.

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