QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch decided on Sunday to engage local people in major projects, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), to remove their sense of deprivation.
A meeting presided over by the chief minister and attended by the Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Aamir Riaz, Chief Secretary Saifullah Chattha, Inspector General Frontier Corps, Balochistan, Maj Gen Sher Afgun, IG Police Mohammad Amlish in Gwadar discussed ongoing projects, including the CPEC, Rato Dero-Gwadar Motorway, Ankara Dam, desalination plant, laying of water pipeline and providing basic civic amenities to the people of the port city and other areas.
The Chief Minister and the Commander Southern Command said the CPEC would boost economic activities and create a large number of jobs in the region. The people of Gwadar should be major beneficiary of the projects, they said.
Dr Malik Baloch said the CPEC project was being implemented in Gwadar because of the important geo-political position of the city. He said there should be an assurance that the rights and interests of the people of Balochistan, including Gwadar, would be protected.
“The incumbent democratic government has been trying to protect the rights and interests of Balochistan. We are taking practical steps to provide basic civic amenities, including potable water, education, healthcare and electricity to the masses,” he said.
Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Aamir Riaz said the people of Balochistan were patriots and loyal to Pakistan. The military leadership would play its role in providing basic amenities to the people, he added.
“Balochistan is a very important province of the country and Gwadar is the heart of Balochistan. Therefore, the people of Gwadar are entitled to get all basic civic facilities,” he said.
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Additional Chief Secretary (Planning and Development) Nasibullah Khan Bazai, Secretary, Public Health Engineering, Sheikh Nawaz and Chairman of the Balochistan Development Authority Sher Khan Bazai briefed the meeting on progress of work on Akra Kor Dam, Mor Dam and Shadi Kor Dam.
They said work on laying 80km pipeline to supply water to Gwadar would be taken up soon.
The Chief Minister directed the authorities to pay price of the land to owners before starting work on the water pipeline, complete 20 per cent of remaining work of Shadi Kor Dam within 15 days and make the desalination plant operational to ensure supply of water fit for consumption to meet the needs of the people of Gwadar.
He ordered the setting up of a committee headed by the deputy commissioner of Gwadar for the desalination plant.
Chairman of the Gwadar Port Authority Mir Dostain Jamaldini and Director General Dr Sajjad Baloch briefed the meeting on the ongoing projects.
They said that work was under way on 12 projects under the CPEC in Gwadar.
They said 90pc work on Gwadar-Turbat Section of Motorway-8 had been completed. A 50-bed hospital in Gwadar would also be made functional soon. Other projects included posting of teachers at the Girls College, making Gwadar city clean and providing facilities for fish export and cross-border trade, they added.
The Chief Minister said the federal government had been approached for providing facilities related to immigration, customs and trade in Gwadar, Mand, Panjgur and Mashkel areas.
Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2015