Thursday, May 7, 2015

Balochistan MPs want NHA to build four highways

QUETTA: The Balochistan Assembly, through a resolution adopted in its Tuesday’s session, called upon the federal government to construct four highways in the province because the provincial government lacked financial capacity to undertake such projects.

The resolution tabled by Arifa Sadiq said that the National Highway Authority should be asked to construct roads between Zhob and Qamardin, Muslim Bagh and Badini, Harnai and Loralai and Muslim Bagh and Loralai. The proposed Zhob- Qamardin and Muslim Bagh-Badini roads would lead to the border with Afghanistan and boost trade with that country, it added.

Speaking on the resolution, lawmakers said that Balochistan was spread on a vast area and massive funds were required to construct highways in the province. On the one hand, they said, the province’s present budgetary allocation for development projects estimated to Rs45 billion and, on the other, the cost of Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus service was Rs55 billion.

Offering a clarification, Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch said that Rs15 billion was not missing from the funds of the planning and development department but the finance department had been asked to stop the release of funds because of mishandling of projects by the former additional chief secretary (development).

He deplored conditions prevailing in health and education departments in Nasirabad, Usta Muhammad and Dera Murad Jamali districts and warned of sacking absentee doctors or teachers.

Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2015

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