Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan visited Torkham border today where he inspected the border fencing and functions of different departments at Torkham. Spokesperson of Provincial Government Ajmal Khan Wazir also accompanied the Chief Minister. This was the first ever visit of any Chief Minister of the province to the erstwhile Khyber Agency and the present district Khyber. The Chief Minister was briefed about the functions of different departments at Torkham border where he also listened to the public complaints and ordered the administration to resolve their problems adding that the officials deployed at Torkham border should facilitate the ease of doing business.
Chief Minister said that the public sector entities and their officials should facilitate the trade activities adding that Torkham, Ghulam Khan and other frequented routes linking Central Asia via Afghanistan would emerge the life-veins of the economy of the country in the wake of CPEC. This region used to be a trade corridor in the past now fast becoming an energy corridor and the western route and other developmental activities in the region would make this region the hub of trade and economic activities, he added.
Mahmood Khan said that his government has already planned Reshakai industrial estate, Hattar industrial estate and 17 other industrial zones in the province. The expressway from Peshawar to D.I.Khan and Gilgit to Chitral and Dir to Chakdara as an alternative route for the CPEC would integrate the province through a road communication network as the Swat Motorway was already in the completion phase. The integration of the province through road communication would promote economic activities in the whole region.
Chief Minister said that PATA including Malakand Division, FATA and Hazara were being promoted on tourism lines and we have natural resources including the perennial water resources which would be exploited for the benefit of the people and development of the province. We would provide cheap electricity to encourage rapid industrialization that would spread a network of economic activities. He said that jobs creation was one area of the government’s priorities and we should be prepared for the growing trend of investment and we have already planned the away forward. We are training the youth to cope with the future challenges, he added.
Mahmood Khan said that it was unfortunate that no government in the past even thought for the people and the province but the PTI government took the first stride for futuristic approach attracting investment and facilitating investors. The provincial government was giving one window operation for investment facilitation in the province, he added.
Chief Minister said that Chashma Lift Irrigation project would bring a vast barren land under cultivation for agriculture productivity and to ensure food self sufficiency. He said we are working to practically implement the vision of Imran Khan for the mass scale jobs creation through investment, industrialization boosting agriculture and commerce activities and assured that this province has the required potential, needing proper and scientific exploitation and each and every sector could emerge as a durable industrial sector. These activities would enable the province to put its shares in the mass scale jobs creation as per Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision. We would focus on the youth involving them in the productive sectors and promoting the culture of cottage industry where the talented youth would start their own business and would give jobs to others as well.
On this occasion, the Chief Minister was briefed by the security officials about the border fencing and different activities. Chief Minister directed to resolve the problems on the border as expeditiously as possible so that the people could heave a sigh of relief.
Earlier, the Chief Minister visited the residence of Federal Minister Pir Noorul Haq Qadri where he condoled the death of his father Pir Hazrat Sheikh Gul Jee. He sympathized with the bereaved family and offered Fateha for the departed soul.
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan and Federal Minister for Power Umar Ayub Khan presided over an important meeting to accelerate campaign against electricity theft, provision of meters, recovery of arrears and Upgradation of system in the province. The PESCO was directed to present a complete feeder wise plan and systematic mechanism including complete break up with timelines within a week in this regard. PESCO was also directed to start the campaign in consultation with all the stakeholders including elected public representatives of concerned areas. The meeting decided to facilitate and give relief to the consumers paying their legitimate bills and helping out campaign. The Chief Minister assured to help out the PESCO to make the anti theft campaign a success story. “We have to recover arrears and reduce line losses once for all. This was a national issue requiring our collective efforts at all levels”, he added.
The meeting at Chief Minister Secretariat Peshawar attended by Provincial Minister for Finance Taimur Saleem Jahgra, Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai, Minister Environment Ishtiaq Urmar, Advisor to Chief Minister on Energy Himayatullah Khan, Spokesman of Provincial government Ajmal Khan Wazir, MNAs and MPAs of Peshawar, Chief Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch, IGP Saluhuddin Mehsud, PESCO Chief Amjad Khan and other concerned authorities focused on anti power theft, recovery of arrears and Upgradation of transmission lines and the whole system.
Meeting underlined the need to give special focus on Peshawar, Bannu and Khyber circles in this regard because the rate of arrears and Kunda culture is high in these circles than that of other circles of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Different issues linked to electricity including Kunda culture, non availability of meters, issuance of electricity bills without proper reading, heavy load-shedding, non availability of transformers, corrupt activities in PESCO and other important issues came under discussion in the meeting. The meeting observed that the weak and inefficient system of PESCO was the basic problem that needed to be upgraded on priority basis. Meeting also underlined the need for accelerated initiatives for recovery of arrears and dealing with an iron hand the kunda culture in the province especially in three circles that included Peshawar, Bannu and Khyber. The arrears recovered from different areas would be utilized for upgradation of electricity system in these areas.
The meeting also agreed that PESCO should have its own system of accountability so that black sheeps inside the department should be kicked out and honest and committed people could be brought the system. On this occasion, PESCO chief also presented his plan already prepared regarding campaign against electricity theft. He told that initially those feeders were selected for action where trend of kunda culture and non payments of bills is high than the other areas of province. He revealed that campaign is being started with provision of meters and repairing of transformers. We have planned to facilitate defaulters and there is no limit of installments for payment of arrears. If anybody cannot afford the price for fresh installment of meters, he can pay the dues in the electricity bills in shape of installments. He also revealed that at first instant the electricity would not be disconnected but initially we would provide a systematic plan and mechanism and then would take action against the Kunda culture. The operation is already started at different feeders and the PESCO authority will never bear any act of corruption and the corrupt people inside the system will be dealt with iron hands. We have already taken actions against some of the corrupt elements in the system and several have been transferred.
The Chief Minister directed the PESCO chief to work more on his plan and to prepare a complete picture of the whole plan wherein it should be mentioned that on which feeder the work is started and when it would be completed. He also directed that a detail plan should be provided that how many feeders works are included in the plan and what is the mechanism for its completion. He further directed that all these details should be provided within one week time and all the elected members and other stakeholders should be taken in loop while running the drive. +
Mahmood Khan assured that he will be at the beck and call of PESCO to settle down all obstacles in order to achieve the targets. He said your targets should be clear and focused and after two weeks the meeting will be called again to review the progress. We want visible results, he added.