ISLAMABAD - Neglecting various vital development projects of country especially from Balochistan, the road maintenance packages of Multan and Larkana are allegedly being given much importance with these areas getting comparatively smooth funding for development as compared to others.

Contrary to that, mantra of funds’ paucity for maintenance of country’s major development projects has repeatedly been echoed for a long time, causing heavy loss to national exchequer. But, at the same time, a comparative look on the pace of work on Multan and Larkana packages and the projects in rest of the country particularly Balochistan could tell all the story and the alleged discrimination being made in this regard.

Even diversion of funds from extraordinary delayed projects towards Multan package has caused loss to national kitty, said sources in the Communication Ministry desiring not to be named.

As a result of which, different projects including Attabad Lake (at KKH), Hassanabdal Mansehra, Lowari Tunnel, Faisalabad-Multan Motorway, M-8 and other extraordinary delayed vital projects could not be completed even after passing a long time due to shortage of funds and other reasons.

The worst situation of Balochistan’s road projects is also a testimony of the fact that how much government had been indifferent towards these projects.

It was learnt that 19 projects including M-8 (Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab) are still under construction even after passing the stipulated time. Due to slow progress of the work and poor law and order situation in the province, even half of the work could not be completed on some of the projects. Around 75 per cent work is still to be done on Sorab-Basima-Naag-Panjgur-Hoshab(454 Km) Road.

The projects which could not be completed even after passing the stipulated time are: (N-25) widening of Kalat-Quetta-Chaman, Kalat-Quetta(60 Km), Quetta-Chaman(57 Km), Lakpass Tunnel (180M), Musli Bagh-Qila Saifulla (50 Km), Ormara-Pasni section and some others. It merits mentioning here that in some of the cases, the dates had been revised due to certain reasons.

“The sorry state of affairs of the Balochistan’s road projects is not new. Government is paying no heed to it and funding as compared to Multan and Larkana is too meagre,” said a senior senator from Balochistan Ismail Buledi while talking to TheNation.

It is relevant to mention here that the issue of discrimination was also raised in the sub-committee of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Communication when ANP leader Senator Zahid Khan reportedly accused Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani of diverting funds for ongoing National Highway Authority (NHA) projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa towards Multan.

Senator Zahid Khan had also raised concern that during past few months 3.7 billion had been allocated for Multan package but meagre funds were released for Lowari Tunnel, Peshawar Northern By-Pass and Hassanabdal-Mansehra Highway projects.

When contacted, PRO NHA said all the projects of country were being funded smoothly as now almost all the projects of Multan had been completed. “Only two projects pertaining to Multan are going on and now funds flow is smooth to all projects including Balochistan,” he said adding, work on Rs 60 billin projects were currently underway.