PESHAWAR: A special meeting of the Provincial Task Force was held here with Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan in the chair on Tuesday.
The meeting reviewed the overall security situation, administrative matters, progress so far made on developmental projects in Malakand Division. It also discussed public issues of urgent nature in the discussion, and decided to devise a workable and feasible strategy to get those issues resolved on priority basis.
Corps. Commander Peshawar Lt. General Nauman Mahmood, Acting Chief Secretary and Senior Member Board of Revenue Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Principal Secretary to CM Amjad Ali Khan, Commissioner Malakand, Regional Police Officer Malakand and other Civil and Military officials attended the meeting.
Briefing the forum about the ongoing developmental schemes and public welfare projects in the different social sectors of Malakand Division, the forum was informed that work on various schemes worth Rs. 950 million was in progress for poverty alleviation by providing employment opportunities to the people.
Similarly, various projects worth Rs. 8675 million have been reflected in the annual development program for providing improved civic facilities to the people of Malakand Division. Similarly, schemes worth Rs. 1711 million have been approved for rural development and capacity building of civil administration in the division.
The meeting was further told that under the long term developmental program, work on seven mega hydel power projects was in progress which would be completed with a total estimated cost of Rs. 57 billion. The forum agreed to the proposal of giving special development package for backward areas of the division including Sharmingal and Lal Qilla and directed the Planning and Development Department to come up with workable plan within a month for the purpose.
Issues and disputes related to land ownership and boundaries in Malakand Division were also identified in the meeting and the chief minister directed the Revenue Department to work out all the possible options including setting up of an independent commission to resolve such issues on sustainable basis.
The forum was told that a project has been approved for land settlement in Dir and Kalam and work on this project would be started very soon adding that work on settlement in Chitral was in full swing and would be completed by September this year. The meeting has also decided to strengthen Tehsil Municipal Administration in the tourist areas of Malakand Division and the chair directed the local government department to provide the required vehicles, machinery and human resource to the TMOs of tourist areas on priority basis.
The forum underlined the need to take stern action against the illegal cutting of trees in the division and directed the quarter concerned to take necessary steps for making amendments in the punitive clauses of the relevant laws to ensure exemplary punishment to those involved in illegal cutting of trees.
The forum was informed that fire fighting force was being established to minimize the losses of forests and wildlife in case of fire in forest. Public issues related to electricity in the division were also highlighted in the meeting and the chair informed that the matter had been taken up with the prime minister to resolve the electricity related issues on sustainable basis adding that concrete steps would be taken within the next two years to resolve all such issues in the province.
The chief minister directed the authorities concerned to prepare a detail report on the issues of road infrastructure under National Highway Authority in Malakand Division so that the matter could be taken up with the relevant authorities at federal level.
The Chief Minister, on this occasion, hinted at launching a financial assistance program for the heirs of mine workers who lost their lives during mining and directed the authorities of Minerals Department to come up with the workable proposals in this regard. The forum also decided to constitute a committee to absorb the Malakand levies into regular police force.
The chief minister directed the quarters concerned to take concrete measures for the construction of permanent buildings for police stations, divisional and district jails in Malakand Division. Moreover, the authorities of health department were directed to take pragmatic steps for the upgradation of healthcare units in various areas of the division on need basis and for the posting of doctors and other medical staff in those healthcare facilities on priority basis.