PANAKOT: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Thursday announced that the government would spend Rs 50 billion for the construction of a new Chakdara-Dir-Chitral road and completion of Lowari Tunnel to shorten travel time and facilitate the people of the remote area.
The prime minister said the huge amount of Rs 50 billion was far more than was being spent in Rawalpindi, Lahore and other mega cities, as the government realised the importance of the people living in far off places and wants to bring these area at par with the developed areas of the country.
The prime minister said the government would also construct a 132 KVA grid station in the area, to help it meet its growing electricity needs. He said his government was working hard to help end load shedding in the country and a number of short- and long-term measures were being undertaken in this regard.
He said he had visited most of the areas affected by the earthquake that hit the region on Oct 26 and said though the compensation was no replacement for the precious lives lost, but was just a token of assistance to help the bereaved family bear their loss.
The prime minister said he had directed mobilisation of the entire government machinery for rescue, relief and rehabilitation of the affected people. He said both the federal and the provincial governments worked in complete unison to help the people confront this calamity.
He said the priority in this regard was to ensure that the damaged houses were constructed before the harsh winter sets in. He said the government was fully aware of the problems being faced by the earthquake affected people, living in the remote areas, and said the federal and the provincial government have worked together to help them in their hour of trial.
He said though the payments were not a compensation for the precious lives lost, but was meant to help their families cope with the great loss. He said it was his obligation to reach out to the people who had suffered because of the natural calamity and recalled his visits to various affected areas.
The prime minister said his government was burning midnight oil to help address the problems being faced by the masses. Referring to the demand of the locals about provision of natural gas to the region, he said the locally produced gas was not enough to meet the demand. However, he assured that gas would be provided to Upper Dir as soon as the country’s gas requirements from imports were met.