Gilgit-Baltistan Government asked to focus fast on uplift projects
GB GOVT ASKED TO FOCUS FAST ON UPLIFT PROJECTS
PM inaugurates Pakistan-China Friendship tunnels
Nawaz lauds CRBC construction work; Tunnels to help boost trade, tourism
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 – Attabad—Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday inaugurated the Pakistan-China Friendship Tunnels, which have been constructed by China over the Attabad Lake in Gilgit-Baltistan’s Hunza valley. The 24kilometers long Attabad Karakorum Highway Realignment project has five tunnels having accumulative length of over sevenkilometers, sixteen kilometers road and two bridges of one kilometer long and 78 small bridges. This portion of the road was damaged in 2010 due to land sliding at Attabad.
The tunnels have been constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to restore part of the road which was submerged under the Attabad Lake. The project has been completed in a span of three years and two months by CRBC. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif praised the work Chinese construction company. The project will facilitate thousands of commuters of the area besides Chinese trade.
The prime minister was briefed on the details of the project and status of upgradation of other parts of Karakorum Highway. Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Governor GB Barjees Tahir, Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman and China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong were also present on the occasion.
Talking to the members of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly and ministers of the GB government, the Prime Minister urged the government of Gilgit-Baltistan to focus on development projects related to road infrastructure, electricity and tourism and ensure their transparent and timely completion. The Prime Minister said the projects would usher in a new era of prosperity for the people of Gilgit and Baltistan. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has assured that all possible resources will be provided for completion of development projects in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The Prime Minister called upon the ministers and MLAs of Gilgit Baltistan government to leave no stone unturned in carrying out the development projects with utmost dedication and honesty. He mentioned that the construction of Naltar road, university, hydropower project and a cardiology hospital were the genuine demands of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. He assured his government’s support in materializing these projects.
The Prime Minister said tourism sector of Gilgit Baltistan had immense potential and stressed laying further focus on it to attract local and international tourists. He expressed satisfaction that around 0.7 million tourists thronged Gilgit Baltistan this year besides flocking to Azad Kashmir and northern areas of the country. He emphasized on taking steps to increase plantation in the area for a greener and healthy environment in the area.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said people in the past could not benefit due to funds not being -+spent transparently. The prime minister emphasised that each rupee should be spent with honesty. “There should be no corruption on how funds are being spent.” Referring to the inauguration of the Attabad Tunnel at the Karakoram Highway, Prime Minister Sharif said this project will create opportunities for growth in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The prime minister added that forces would provide security along the highway from Gilgit to Mansehra. The Prime Minister said both the Chinese and Pakistani governments are working hard for speedy completion of China- Pakistan Economic Corridor project. Under this project, work on some power projects has already been started. The Premier also orderedofficials to ensure transparency in development projects. “We will successfully carry out the projects of hospitals, universities and other developmental projects.”
He announced the federal government has allocated Rs27 billion for Karakorum development project. “This sum is at least three times larger than the annual development budget of Rs8 billion for G-B and reflects our love for the people of this area,” he said and added, “Mega development projects are necessary in Gilgit-Baltistan.” The premier also appreciated the assistance of the Chinese government in projects related to the development of the area as well as in the projects being carried out in Gwadar.
Earlier, GB chief minister received the prime minister upon his arrival and briefed him about other on-going projects in the area. The restoration of Karakoram Highway is linked with the historic China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project which will usher a new era of development in the country’s economy.—APP( Business Observer)