ISLAMABAD - The mantra of funds paucity for maintenance of country’s major development projects seems specific for Balochistan and some other areas, as the pace of work on Larkana and Multan packages as comparative to the rest of country could tell alleged discrimination in these regard.

The executive board of National Highway Authority (NHA), in this connection, has approved one more loan amounting to Rs 2.5 billion for Sindh while many of important projects especially in Balochistan have been under-funded for the last many years.

The board meeting under chairmanship of Muhammad Ali Gardezi reviewed countrywide schemes of NHA, and finally approved a loan amounting to Rs 2.5 billion for highway projects in Sindh. According to the information, many of the 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 situation in Balochistan also depicts the level of interest of concerned authorities as over 15 projects including M-8 (Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab), Sorab-Basima-Naag-Panjgur-Hoshab(454 Km) and other could not complete in its stipulated time.

The projects of this province 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 would not be out of place to mention here that parliamentarians from Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) have accused Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani for diverting funds towards Multan and Larkana. While the authority members had also made it clear that all the projects of country were being funded on equal basis.

As per the NHA Executive Board meeting countrywide schemes of the Authority were reviewed. Senior officers from Ministry of Finance, Planning Commission, Ministry of Communications, NH&MW Police, NESPAK and NHA participated.

Muhammad Ali Gardezi termed roads and source of forging inter provincial harmony and socio-economic uplift. NHA is fully aware about the financial difficulties of the Government and they are trying our level best to reduce load on national exchequer, he added. He said that Sindh government has approved a loan amounting to Rs. 2.5 billion for highway projects in Sindh province, which will help gear up pace of progress there.

It was also discussed that in 2010, liabilities in maintenance were to Rs. 15 billion which now due to financial discipline have been reduced by Rs. 7.5 billion.

The Board Members desired to present Maintenance report after every 3-month so that Board could remain aware about the progress of maintenance activities.