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    Ex MNA appeal to PM Imran Khan to Retain Chitrals Projecs in Federal PSDP:

    ISLAMABAD: I did appeal to Imran through Dawn in 1st week of August 2018 prior to his becoming PM to ensure that these mega projects are not only retained but given substantial funding as these projects are the only guarantee that Chitral which was pushed behind by 30 years due to the twin disasters of the worst flash floods of our history in July 2015 that displaced 15,000 people followed by the devastating 8.1 magnitude earthquake of 26th Oct 2015 that affected an additional 19,000 household (136,000 people) can only regain its lost ground through the benefits the implementation of these projects will bring by paving the way for a vibrant private sector. The implementation may take years in time but that is the only hope Chitrals cultural uniformity & integrity is preserved.

    On my behalf I also met KPK Senior Minister & Minister of Tourism Atif Khan at his resident in 2nd week of Sept 2018 and also requested him to have all NHA road projects projects namely 1) Chitral Garam Chashka Dorah Pass Road costing Rs 8.4 billion 2) Chitral Kalash Valleys Road 3) Chitral Shandoor 4) Terich Lot Owir 5) Chitral Chakdara Road and lastly 6) Torkhow Road which C&W was implemented if we really want promotion of tourism in the area. To my request Atif Khan promised to speak to PM Imran Khan to ensure that Garam Chashma & Kalash Valley Roads which were inaugurated and await practical start of work . In its approval at ECNEC on 7th March 2018, it was ensured that Chitral Shandoor Road was not left alone to CPEC funding and at time of approval it was agreed that Chitral Shandoor Road will be allocated funds via PSDP therefore Rs 1.5 billion were allocated in PSDP 2018 for current financial years and therefore the road was not left totally subject to Chinese funding alone.

    PML N Govts. ALLOCATIONS in PSDP 2018-19 for CHITRAL’s Projects:
    For your information if you take a look at the 2018 budget passed in May 2018 you will see that I had ensured that Rs 1.5 billion were allocated for Chitral Shandoor Road against the total cost of Rs 16.75 billion another Rs 1.5 billion were allocated for Chitral Garam Chashma Road with project costs of Rs 8.4 billion and Rs 50 crores were allocated for Kalash Valley Roads costing Rs 4.6 billions and Rs 30 crores were allocated for spending this year on Torkhow Road which has also been closed down as 12 out of 13 excavators & bulldozers have been moved out of the area by the contractor recently.

    I have not seen the fresh green book of the PSDP but it is very painful to learn of the new Govts priorities . Chakdara Chitral Road also part of the PSDP costing Rs 17.42 billion had guaranteed South Korean EXIM Bank’s funding whose status needs to be also determined. Likewise Rs 75 crores were included in PSDP for Terich Lot Owir Road in addition to three bridges each costing Rs 16 crores between 1) Oseak -Drosh, 2) Kuragh -Kosht 3) Nishkuh-Werkhop 4) Shogore -Awi as all bridge projects were approved at CDWP on 13 March 2018.

    That means that Terich Lot Owir are Road alone had total allocations of Rs 1.02 billions = (Rs 75 crores + Rs 16 crores for Nishkuh Bridge + Rs 16 crores for Kuragh Kosht Bridge). One would reckon if the Rs 16.75 Billion Shandoor Road gets dropped the same could also be expected of the 212KM Shandoor Gilgit Road for which Rs 25 billion were allocated in PSDP 2018/19 thereby taking out Chitral from CPECs Alternate Route and casting a dark shadow on our future economic outlook as Chitral becomes isolated at a time when the rest of the GB and Hazara and 14 Districts of KPK besides Bajaur & Mohmand Agencies would reap the benefits of this CPEC route.

    One wishes the news of removing Chitrals Projects from PSDP 2018 is not true as it took 14 months just to survey the Chitral Shandoor Road and an Additional year to approve it at ECNEC while it took 6 months each just to survey the Garam Chashma & Kalash Valley Roads.

    Rs 59 billion Spent on Chitral in Five Years between (June 2013-May 2018) by PML N Govt. Note: Details can be obtained from Fed PSDP 2018 presented in May 2018.

    Appeal To PM Imran Khan to Retain Chitrals PSDP Projects.

    The PML Govt gave Chitral Rs 139 billion package and it did not only provide lip service but actually translated their words into practical actions by spending Rs 59 billion in Chitral in four years on following projects:

    I. Rs 27 billion (or 90% ) out of Rs 30 billion spent on Lawari Tunnel. At past Rs 50 to Rs 60 crores it would have taken additional 30 years for the project to complete.

    II. Similarly it spent Rs 28.5 billion (90%) out of total Rs 32 billion expenses of Golen Golen Project.

    III.Not only that PML N included Rs 7.64 on new Grid Stations and Nine new Feeders for electrification by including the projects in PSDP. Japanese had agreed to provide financial assistance for the electrification of entire Chitral District with soft loans of Rs 6 billion arranged through EAD while French Donor AfD had already approved Rs 2.17 billion US$ 14 million for Upgradation of Chitrals WAPDA Power House costing Rs 2.19 billion already inclused in PSDP.

    IV. The Fed Govt also spent Rs 1 billion after July 2015 floods.

    V. It also distributed Rs 2.22 billion amongst 19, 000 earthquake affected homes.

    VI. It spent Rs 1.9 billion through Universal Services Fund (USF) whose tender was won by Telenor and PM Nawaz Sharif formally inaugurated the Telenor Towers as well as Torkhow Road on 7th Sept 2016 before the Jalsa at Polo Ground Chitral.

    VII. The Torkhow Road that saw 3 years or 60% of the 5 years wasted as KPK Govt wasted 2 years in investigations and 1 additional year wasted due to delays in awarding its contract as the C&W Dept belonged to KPK Govt but the projects is funded by Fed Govt. However in its last two years in years 2017 and 2018 Rs 25 crores were spent after work was restarted on Torkhow Road. Fed Govt had allocated Rs 30 crores for Torkhow Road in budget presented in May 2018.

    VIII. The Fed Govt also spent Rs 32 Crores on purchase of Land for Gas Plants at Drosh, Broz (Ayun) and Chitral and the total project cost will be Rs 2 billion for the three plants that were inaugurated along with Garam Chashma and Kalash Valley Roads on 12th May 2018 by me as MNA on behalf of Prime Minister whose flight was cancelled due to rains on that day. The delays have arisen due to paperwork relating to land purchase.

    X. The Federal Govt also inclused in PSDP the University of Chitral whose PC-1 costs Rs 2.9 billion.

    XI. Federal Govt also distributed Prime Ministers Health Card amongst Rs 5700 households directly benefiting nearly 44, 000 people or 10% of Chitrals entire population where each poor family gets free medical care worth Rs 350, 000.

    I appeal again to PM Imran Khan that Chitral has 10 -12 thousand Megawatts Hydropower potential which can only be realized once these road projects are practically implemented. The revenues generated from Chitrals hydropower can help recover the entire financing project costs of Chitrals Road infrastructure within just one year provided the 12, 000 MW projects are practically implemented and put to use.

    In other words Chitrals Hydro Power projects can not only help finance these roads but will ensure guaranteed revenues for the Federal and KPK Govt for hundreds of years to come.

    Nobody has bothered to look deeper into the reasons why Chitral lost its Provincial Assembly seat after 2017 Census. The fact that Chitral’ s residents have proudly attained newly 70% literacy but it’s educated as well as uneducated lot is unable to find jobs and the primary reason is absence of a vibrant private sector in Chitral. Resultantly, over the past seventy years 1/3rd of Chitral unemployed left the valley in search of jobs outside the district and this economic migration came at the cost of Chitrals provincial assembly seat. I

    f the economic migration continues at cureent pace then I fear Chitral will also loose it National Assembly seat after a decade or two in the next CENSUS and this imperil Chitrals ethic balance thereby posing a major threat to our unique and peaceful culture.

    The only long term sustainable solution to Chitrals economic problems lies in ensuring the development of a vibrant private sector that can only provide jobs in Chitrals tourism, mining, hydropower, trade(domestic but international in long term) and horticulture sectors.

    The foremost prequisite for that is infrastructural development beginning with execution of these roads. Therefore, the first step should be to retain Chitrals NHA Road Projects included in PSDP after a hard fought struggle.

    It is unfortunate that some people are misguiding the Prime Minister. As Chitralis we all must set aside politics and extend support to our newly elected MNA and MPA as these projects are about the betterment of Chitral and not about any particular individual or political party.

    If we really want to send a strong message to all policy makers todays as well as tomorrow’s that without developing Chitrals infrastructire our culture would be threatened as people continue to migrate in large numbers towards the bigger cities down country in search of better opportunities.

    Governments must take a holistic view of development and be farsighted enough to understand the problems of Chitrails who are ncreasingly becoming marganilized due to prevalence of status quo. Delays can be acceptable but outrightly taken these NHA projects out of Federal PSDP will God forbid ruin Chitrals future.

    Similarly we all appeal to Prime Minister Imran Khan not to drop any of Chitrals mega road projects as these projects promise to connect us to Central Asia, Kabul via Arandu and well as GB via Shandoor and if one were to contruct the Boroghul Route it has the potential to connect Chitral via shortest CPEC route via Boroghul provided the Govt gives it proper attention and priority.

    The economic benefits of these projects will certainly benefit entire Pakistan besides the region should the Govt decide to capitalize on Chitrals strategic location at the cross roads of Central & South Asia.

    People of Chitral wont mind delays but would indeed be grateful to PM Imran Khan if atleast these projects were not taken out of the Federal PSDP and were executed through staggered funding.

    Shahzada Iftikhar Uddin

     

     

     

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

     

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