MURREE: National Assembly Member from NA-57 Sadaqat Ali Abbasi on Friday said the Punjab government had approved development projects for Murree, Klar Syedan, Kotli and Kahuta.

Talking to newsmen, he said besides gas, water supply and health and education sectors projects, the government had also approved tourism highway from Lower Topa to Patriata and Patriata chairlift to Kahuta.

The proposed tourism highway would connect five tehsils of Rawalpindi district, including Murree, Kotli Satyan, Panj Pir, Narr, Panjaar to Sagri and Rawat, the MNA added.

As there is no industry in the mountain areas the projects would provide business and employment opportunities to the locals.

He said tourists who come to these areas would get a full package deal in the years to come, he siad.

With regard to Mall Road-II project, he said the government was not funding the project rather it was a public-private partnership, he said.

He said efforts would be made to ensure that 99pc the local people lands are not damaged.

The government is not interested in buying or selling anyone’s private property falling along the proposed Mall-II.

This Mall-II project is just an attempt to increase the importance of lands of the people of the area and provide business opportunities and try to create employment opportunities, Sadaqat added.

The project proposal will be finalized after consultation with all stakeholders, including local residents, as the area has not been made commercial but being utilised as commercial, and if it was not made commercial, the constructions there might be made illegal.

“To legalise the construction, the area needs to be made commercial,” he added.

With regard to Kohsar University, he said no university or college has been set up in the area by the previous governments. The rejected people are spreading misunderstanding about the university and filed a writ petition in the court.

“We are striving to provide higher education to the people in our region. Kohsar University will start functioning in February,” he said.

Sadaqat Ali Abbasi claimed that so far he had started 1,016 public welfare projects and 70pc of them have been completed.

Replying to a question, Sadaqat Abbasi said mega projects would be started after consultation with Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2020

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