CHITRAL: Former Chitral MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin has criticised the federal government for removing the region’s key development projects from the annual development programme of the current financial year.
Mr Iftikharuddin told Dawn that the dropped projects, which were approved by the PML-N government, belonged to road, communication, education and energy sectors.
He said budgetary allocations were made for some of those projects. The former lawmaker said the dropping of ADP projects had sent shock waves through the residents of Chitral.
He said the PML-N government had spent a large sum of funds in the district to complete work on Lowari tunnel and Golen Gol hydropower project.
Mr Iftikharuddin said the last government had initiated work on the Rs25 billion worth of 212km Shandur-Gilgit Road but the current government was scraped the project for the current fiscal upsetting the residents of the district, which had one-fifth of the province’s total area and was an alternate route for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
He also regretted the dropping of the Rs16 billion Oveer-Shagrom Terich Road project and said the initiative was meant to promote mountain tourism in the district.
“Under the plans, the proposed road is to pass through the foothold of more than 100 peaks of Hindukush system of mountains, including its highest peak of Terich Mir,” he said.
Mr Iftikharuddin said it was unfortunate that the federal government had shelved the Rs5 billion project for the laying of power transmission line in Chitral and setting up grid stations in the far-flung areas of Kagh Lusht, Garam Chashma and Gang Gahirait.
He said although the Golen Gol power station could electrify all villages of Chitral, its transmission was the problem for which a comprehensive plan was made to lay high-density transmission lines and install 600transformers.
“The shelving of this important power project means that the extra electricity produced by the Golen Gol power station will go to waste,” he said adding that 36MW electricity was specified for Chitral district.
The former lawmaker also criticised the government for dropping the Rs3 billion University of Chitral project and said the move would harm the cause of education in the district.