PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Thursday emphatically directed housing, local government, rural development, communications and works departments to not open new housing schemes for the public before they had been equipped with basic amenities.
Khattak said this while chairing a meeting on Aboha housing scheme, currently under development in Barikot city of Swat, at his residence in Peshawar.
The chief minister said that basic amenities including schools, hospitals, markets and mosques were essential to be developed in the new housing schemes being developed by government before these schemes were made available to the public, adding that this directive should be the governing principle of the government from now onward.
“The present PTI government believes in providing maximum relief to the masses including solving their residential problems rather than hoodwinking them with mere lip service”, he said. “Housing schemes initiated during our tenure would not only be completed but would have all required facilities.”
About the Aboha housing scheme, the chief minister told members of the meeting that it had been launched about seven years ago by the provincial government of that time, and that it had included an area of over 3,000 kanals. However, he said, land disputes and overstatements in the estimated cost of the project had led to the cessation of work on the housing scheme. He said that the relevant authorities of that time had fixed the price of land at Rs8 million per kanal whereas new estimates of the land cost have brought this figure down to Rs2 million, including the costs incurred in carrying out the development work under the chief minister’s orders.
The meeting decided to conduct a fresh survey of the scheme on realistic grounds over an area of 1500 to 2000 kanals. The chief minister directed that this survey should be completed within one month on an emergency basis, expressing regrets that the previous government had completely neglected the project after initiating it.
He added that the private sector had been able to convert even deserts into successful cities by developing housing schemes which ensured the provision of basic facilities like health, education, mosques, markets, and good quality of roads and streets. He said that the Aboha housing scheme was vital for the thickly populated Barikot town.
Khattak instructed the relevant authorities to develop Aboha housing scheme on the pattern of Bahria Town. He added that work on all developmental projects including residential schemes should continue unhampered and that any problems which might crop up should be resolved.