ISLAMABAD - The delay in release of Rs 3 billion funds has put the fate of AJK’s three cities development projects by two Chinese companies in doldrums as timely completion of these projects is not possible.

The issue was discussed in detail at 29th Projects Steering Committee meeting held here at Earthquake Reconstruction Rehabilitation Authority [ERRA] Headquarters. The meeting was presided over by Deputy Chairman Major General Muhammad Azeem Asif. During the meeting, Chief Secretary AJK, Director General State Earthquake Reconstruction, Rehabilitation Authority (SERRA) Ghulam Nabi Butt, nominated representatives from the public, authority officials, NESPAK representatives, senior member board of revenue, AJK government official, Projects Directors Muzaffarabad, Bagh and Rawalakot discussed progress of the ongoing projects.

It was told that Chinese Exim Bank is hesitant to extend loan facility without counterpart funding. In the meeting, it was the opinion that if the situation remains the same then hundred of under-construction projects in Muzaffarabad, Bagh and Rawalakot will severely get affected.

It is pertinent to mention here that Chinese Construction Company CXB and CWE chief executives during his recent visit to AJK Capital had requested Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the release of counterpart amount as per agreement. At the occasion both the Chinese companies executives said that counterpart funding of Rs 3 billion will help in completion of Rs 34 billion projects in time in Muzaffarabad, Bagh and Rawalakot cities.

In the meeting, the ongoing scheme of water treatment plant Makri Muzaffarabad costing Rs 799.7 million was also reviewed and accorded approval. The Deputy Chairman directed the concerned officials to ensure project completion within the stipulated time.

Director General Muzaffarabad City Development Zafar Hussain Wahla apprised that the treatment plant will provide clean water for about fifty years to the city dwellers. He said the projects will also improve municipal facilities in the city.

He said that with the availability of funds and resolution of counterpart funding, all ongoing projects including slaughter house, fruit and vegetable market will be completed at the earliest to benefit people of Muzaffarabad. In the meeting Bagh and Rawalakot City Development Projects Directors appraised the meeting about sewerage, water supply schemes, roads and bridges construction progress.

During the meeting Deputy Chairman directed all stakeholders including Project Directors to remove all kinds of impediments for early completion of projects for the earthquake effected people. Deputy Chairman ERRA directed that water supply and sewerage facilities to be given top priority so as to improve living conditions for the urban population.