Annual canal closure for de-silting from 25th

ISLAMABAD (APP): Indus River System Authority (IRSA) will start closing down canals for de-silting from December 25 to January 25 under its annual closure plan for Rabi 2014-15 season. Spokesman of IRSA Khalid Idress told APP here Tuesday that under plan, the water regulator would reduce discharges from Mangla Dam and Tarbela Dam from Dec 25. He said that one million acres feet additional water was available in the water reservoirs this year as compare to last year. He expressed the hope that they would be able to save sufficient water for early Kharif season if the country receives good rains in winter.

Under the plan, Kotli Barrage will be closed from Dec 25 to Jan 10 while the Sukkur Barrage will remain closed during Jan 10 to Jan 20.

Similarly, CRBC canal in Khyber-Pakhtunkwa will remain closed from Jan 1 to Jan 31.

Under the canal closure plan, Punjab’s lower Jhelum canal (Mangla Command Canal) will remain closed from Dec 26 to Jan 12, and the Thall canal (Tarbela Command Canal) from Jan 13 to Jan 30.

The canals from the head Tarimu will be closed from Jan 10 to Jan 27 while the canals from Punjnad will be closed between Dec 27 and Jan 22 and Taunsa from Dec 31 to Jan 17.

Under its water discharge plan, between Dec 25 and Jan 25 the authority would release 10,000 cusecs of water from Tarbela dam and 8,000 cusecs from Mangla dam to meet the people’s drinking water requirements.

USF provides 543,839 broadband connections in remote areas

ISLAMABAD (APP): Universal Service Fund (USF) has provided 543,839 broadband connections during one year under a programme launched to accommodate remote areas of the country. The other objective of specifically running broadband programme was to increase proliferation. According to Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoIT) here on Tuesday, several Educational Broadband Centres at Higher Secondary Schools have been established under this programme. Subsidies are also being provided to telecom operators to support telecom infrastructure development in unserved and under-served areas which are not commercially viable otherwise.

Similarly, USF has been tasked by MoIT to expedite laying of optical fibre across Pakistan which will support infrastructure requirement necessary for proliferation of broadband services.

The Ministry also plans to establish 500 Universal Telecenters across four provinces of Pakistan, FATA and ICT, for people in underserved and semi-urban areas. The distribution of Telecenters amongst provinces and regions will be as per NFC award formula.  The project is in final stages of planning and will be implemented in phases starting next year. National ICT R&D Fund,established under MoIT, has been tasked to fund projects aimed at producing local content and relevant applications.

With regard to Next Generation Mobile Services (3G/4G), licenses have been issued under which mobile broadband proliferation is expected to be significantly enhanced. To ensure availability of latest state of the art wireless broadband services across the country, reasonable roll out obligations have been included in the licenses.

So far around 50 cities and towns have 3G coverage while 4G services are available in seven cities.

ICCI assures cooperation to CDA

in flourishing business activities

ISLAMABAD (APP): A delegation of ICCI on Tuesday met chairman CDA, Maroof Afzal assured cooperation in flourishing of the business activities while issues of mutual interest were also discussed.  Member Administration, Amer Ali, Member Planning Waseem Khan and officers of other relevant formations of the Authority were also present. The delegation assured full cooperation of ICCI in flourishing of the business activities. The delegation while informing about the problems being faced by the business community told Chairman CDA said that issues like change in trade of commercial and Industrial trades, extension in the lease of class III shopping centers, issues of board tax and trade licenses.

Chairman CDA, Maroof Afzal assured the delegation that CDA would not only consider the genuine problems of the trader community but will also take concrete steps to resolve these issues.

He said that CDA recognizes the role of traders in the development of Islamabad and is taking solid steps for resolving the long standing problems being faced by the traders. He said that CDA is providing the traders of Islamabad with different facilities, which would help increase business activities in Islamabad.

The Chairman CDA said that in order to facilitate the residents of Federal Capital, particularly the trader community, CDA has started the construction of two underground parking plazas at F-7 markaz, which would help resolve the parking issues of the busy business hub of the city. He said that after the completion of this project, parking plazas will also be constructed in different areas of the city. He said that One Window Operation (OWO) Directorate is being up-graded on modern lines and is being equipped with latest technologies so that the residents of Islamabad could be served in a better way and the problems faced by the citizens during transfer of their properties could be minimized. Similarly, he said that CDA has also initiated the project for construction of Citizen Facilitation Center at Jasmine Road Sector G-7. The facilitation Centre being constructed on 2500 sq yards would be provided to the residents with the facilities of IESCO, SNGPL, passport, license, NADRA and all those facilities, which are being provided at OWO would be available under the single roof.

He said that similar citizen facilitation centers would also be constructed in different sectors in order to solve the problems of the residents and traders at their door step. He said that in order to maintain the traffic flow on the roads of the city, under passes and overhead bridges are being constructed on different major avenues.

PTI, govt resumption of talks welcomed

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The business community welcoming the resumption of talks between the government and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf has urged the politicians to resolve the issues while sitting across the table instead of jamming the wheel of industrial, commercial and routine life sectors. They said no doubt Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf is in the field for a noble cause of pin pointing the loopholes in our electoral system which pave way for entry of corrupt elements in the parliament. Nevertheless, staging prolonged sit-ins, bringing economic and otherwise life at halt in major cities and economic hub does not serve the purpose, rather it will hit the backbone of the economy.

Progressive Group Chairman Khalid Usman said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf had shown its power now in three big cities but instead of yielding any positive results it gifted two dead bodies in Faisalabad and four deaths in Lahore. The government has already shown signs of compromise and constituted its team for negotiation with the PTI leadership and both sides should show sagacity and now sit across the table suspending the protest and agitation.

PTA seizes 9 illegal gateways in Pindi

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), in its ongoing efforts to control grey trafficking, recovered 9 illegal VoIP gateways comprising of 232 ports on Tuesday. According to press release issued here, successful raid against the grey operators was carried out along with FIA team at Bangash Colony, Priwadhai, Rawalpindi. Three persons were arrested from the spot and are in the custody of FIA for further investigation. The successful raids against the grey operators were made possible because of continuous monitoring, commitment and persistent efforts by PTA in curbing the menace of grey traffic thus curtailing the loss to the national exchequer because of grey traffickers in the country.