ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday directed to accord high priority to infrastructure development projects particularly damaged roads network in Sindh, as the road and transport sector was the lifeline for economic prosperity of the country.

The President also directed to speed up work on the irrigation developmental projects besides construction of small and medium dams in the province so as to meet the targets by the close of the financial year.

Briefing the media, spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that the President gave multiple directions during a meeting at the Presidency on Thursday to review progress made in the ongoing developmental projects including flood control measures, roads and irrigation development projects, M-9 project, construction of dams and training of BISP beneficiaries.

The meeting was attended among others by Speaker National Assembly, Dr. Fehmida Mirza, Secretary General to the President, M. Salman Faruqui, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr. Nadeem ul Haque, Finance Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Secretary Sindh Raja Muhammad Abbas, Chairman NHA Muhammad Ali Gardezi, Chairman WAPDA Shakeel Durrani, Federal Secretaries Finance, EAD, Communication, Sindh Provincial Secretaries for Works and Service, Irrigation, Coal, Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner Larkana, Members NHA and WAPDA, Farhatullah Babar and other senior officials of the departments concerned.

The President said that despite financial crunch, the present government initiated a number of infrastructure and roads development projects in the country to facilitate cheap and easy access of the goods and products to the markets and thereby ushering in a new era of development in the country.

Chairman NHA, Muhammad Ali Gardezi gave a detailed briefing on the progress made on the up-gradation of Karachi-Hyderabad Super Highway (M-9) and other ongoing projects.

The meeting was informed that the process of signing of the concession agreement for conversion of Karachi-Hyderabad four lanes Highway into 06-lanes Motorway (M-9) with Malaysian firm has been completed and that the company would commence construction work on M-9 in July 2012. The President directed for stepping up the pace of work for timely completion of the ongoing projects in Sindh.

The meeting also reviewed the progress made on the reclamation and renovation of the natural drains in the province and the setting up of the monitoring committee to supervise the work pertaining to reclaiming the historical old drainage channels.