Chitral's development funds remain unutilized

CHITRAL, Jan 7: Development activities in different sectors remain suspended for the last six months in Chitral as the funds cannot be released in the absence of the chairman of the district development advisory committee. chitralmapAn official of the finance department, requesting not to be named, said not a single penny out of the 50 million rupees could be utilized which were received five months back. He said that of the 50 million rupees, 20 million rupees each were for the two provincial assembly constituencies of PK-89 and PK-90 and 10 million for the woman MPA nominated on women’s reserved seats by the PTI.The official said Ghulam Muhammad, MPA from PK-90 Chitral-II, was notified as the chairman of DDAC in June last year but his powers were suspended when the election tribunal accepted an election petition against filed by the runner-up candidate Sardar Hussain of PPP. No meeting of DDAC could be held in which the approval of the development projects as identified by the MPAs is given due to suspension of its chairman, he said, adding the government waited for the decision of the petition which is still pending and the tribunal has ordered re-election in seven polling stations of upper Chitral. The government is reluctant to replace the chairman simply because the other MPA from Chitral, Saleem Khan belongs to PPP while the woman MPA elected on special seat cannot be appointed as chairperson, said Shah Murad Baig of the PPP, adding this was adversely affecting the development of the district. He termed it a casual attitude on the part of the PTI-led government to neglect the district for eight months in the sphere of development by delaying the appointment of DDAC chairman. Mr. Baig said the people of Chitral will have to wait for another three months as the working season has expired due to the arrival of winter season during which most part of the district remained snow-clad. MPA from Chitral, Saleem Khan said the most affected sectors of development were roads, safe drinking water supply and electrification which were funded by the DDAC. He said that the link roads of many valleys are closed for vehicular traffic, many water supply schemes are inoperative and electric supply to many distant villages suspended which needed repair every year before the advent of winter season. Mr. Khan feared that the development funds will stand lapsed by the next financial year due to non-utilization as six months eight months have already wasted and it will inflict a great loss on the people of Chitral.–Zahiruddin]]>

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