DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Thursday said the proposed 380 kilometres long Peshawar-Dera Ismail Khan Expressway would usher in a new era of development and prosperity in the southern districts of the province.
Talking to reporters during a daylong visit to the district, Mr Mahmood said the completion of the Chashma Right Bank Canal project, which was also part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor initiative, would boost the agricultural produce in southern districts and thus, making them self-sufficient.
He said the CRBC’s completion was likely to cost Rs120 billion.
The chief minister said the ruling PTI was focusing on development of the province unlike the so-called national leaders, who brought zero development to the southern districts.
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He said all development projects launched by the PTI government would be completed during its tenure.
Mr Mahmood said sustainable development of merged districts was the top priority of his government.
Accompanied by federal minister Ali Amin Gandapur, MNA Yaqoob Sheik, adviser on merged districts Ajmal Wazir and other local representatives, the chief minister announced several development initiatives for the district and tehsil status for Paniala area and inaugurated work on the Gomal University’s Paharphur campus and the Agriculture University, Dera Ismail Khan.
He also opened the newly-constructed sports hostel and offices for coaches at the Dera Sports Complex.
The project has been constructed at a cost of Rs64.158 million and covers an area of 20,000 square feet with 25 rooms having the capacity to accommodate 100 players at a time.
Mr Mahmood also inaugurated departments and office buildings of district compound Darzinda for which the estimated cost is Rs31.982 million.
He also opened construction of Nakhlistan Kashmir Park at an estimated cost of Rs34.370 million and food street at a cost of Rs68.80 million.
The food street would cover 57188 square feet area.
The chief minister also visited the Arid Zone Research Centre and inaugurated facilities there. He was told that the centre was a PSDP project to be completed at the cost of Rs691.56 million and that 75 per cent work on it had been completed.
Mr Mahmood also laid foundation stone at the Rs144.236 million worth of four Rescue 1122 centres in the district.
He said in order to address power loadshedding issue on a permanent basis, the government initiated the establishment of three grid stations in the district and one of them was fully functional, while work on others was in progress.
The chief minister said work on the gas pipeline for Hangu, Kohat and Karak districts at the cost of Rs9 billion was in progress that would resolve the issue of low gas pressure in Dera Ismail Khan as well.
He said the government had also initiated steps to resolve the issue of clean drinking water in Tank district for which Rs300 million had already been provided.
Mr Mahmood said work on Jandola Road would be completed very soon.
Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2020