KOHAT: State minister for Saffron and narcotics control Sheharyar Afridi on Tuesday said Rs9.5 billion had been approved for provision of gas facility in the rural areas of Kohat.

Addressing a ceremony of launching the phase-II of Hazrat Awais Qarni Township here, he said a new 132KV grid station would be constructed to address the longstanding problems of power outages and low-voltage.

He said minister for power Umer Ayub would visit Kohat to launch the project of new grid station.

He said Kohat was getting electricity from Peshawar and Domel but after construction of the new grid the district would supply power to other parts.

Referring to the trouble being faced by passengers of new railcar service due to old engines and bogies, he said the issue would be resolved soon as he had discussed the matter with railways minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

Mr Afridi said other projects worth Rs100 million were in the pipeline, adding demolition of the old building of Liaquat Memorial Hospital had started for construction of a new hospital. He said he would talk to the incumbent chief minister for provision of funds for construction of the new hospital.

He said work on 72 kilometers three-lane Kohat-Pindi Ghep Motorway had started which would curtail travel time between the two districts from three hours to one and a half hours.

Similarly, the state minister said land for two oil refineries, an engineering university, the grid station and a new hospital would be acquired either in Jarma, Chambai, Surgul, Shahpur or Gandial.

He said a new hospital between Shahpur and Jarma would be constructed.

PROTEST: The residents of Gandiali area demonstrated at the Martyrs Square on Tuesday against demolition of their houses and confiscation of their centuries-old land for the purpose of executing development projects.

They condemned the demolition of three houses and a mosque by the administration and demanded that the development projects should be carried out on the arid land.

Gandiali action committee chairman Rahib Noor and other elders later addressing a press conference said their village was inhibited in 1703, and according to the revenue record the land was transferred in the names of their forefathers in 1876.

But, they said the administration was bringing down their houses and occupying their agricultural land despite the policy announced by former chief minister Pervez Khattak that such lands won’t be used for development projects.

They warned of more protests if the illegal work on their lands was not stopped immediately.

CONGO VIRUS: A positive Congo virus case has been detected in Surgul village, forcing the district administration to order anti-tick spray in the area.

The deputy commissioner had sent the additional deputy commissioner to the area after the case was reported.

The latter had suggested carrying out anti-tick spray in the village, especially in the cattle market, according to a statement.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2019