MULTAN-Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Saturday said that special funds would be acquired from the Punjab government for development of Multan.

While chairing a meeting to review uplift projects across the district, he said that all local parliamentarians would try their best to get more funds for City of Saints.

Sewerage was one of the main issue of the city, he said, adding that the funds would be used effectively. He also expressed annoyance over poor performance of Water and Sanitation Authority’s officers.

He lamented that funds to the tune of Rs 2 billion were returned due to lack of capacity in Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa). He said that Wasa officers should review their performance, as they would have to improve their capacity to serve masses, Qureshi warned.

He said that all parliamentarians were committed to bringing funds for the city. Approval of 12 unapproved projects would be sought from the Punjab government, added Qureshi. The sewerage lines were outdated and funds would be earmarked in annual development budget for replacement of the sewerage lines. Sewerage water was also being added to canals, which was affecting not only crops but fertile land also, he added.

He emphasised for installing water treatment plants. Funds of Asian Development Bank could only be achieved in case they had land for treatment plants, said Qureshi, adding that Rs 10 billion would be acquired for purchase of land.

Qureshi said that Rs 350 million would be demanded for construction of a road from fertilizers factory to women university. Similarly, the issue of funding for Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering and Technology would also be taken up with the Punjab government. He said that construction of Nadirabad flyover and Vehari-Multan dual road was also on top priority.

The FM expressed annoyance over delay in construction of a flyover at Madni Chowk and directed the officers concerned to float tenders as early as possible. The masses money should be spent on them, he added.

Provincial Minister Dr Akhtar Malik also spoke on the occasion. He took notice of delay in widening of road from Kalma Chowk to Nawan Shehar. He also instructed carpeting of the road.

Chief Whip in National Assembly Aamir Dogar said that no officer would be allowed to create hindrances in the way of development schemes.

Deputy Commissioner Aamir Khattak informed the meeting that 53 per cent of the funds were utilised on different projects in the city. He pledged that remaining funds would be utilised by June 30.

He said that Rs 7.80 billion were earmarked for 218 schemes in the city. Under the annual development programme, Rs 2 billion funds were released and Rs 1.53 billion had been spent so far.

Under community development project, Rs 1 billion was earmarked for 137 schemes. Similarly, Rs 900 million were earmarked for 329 schemes of social action plan. For ‘Mazleen Asaan Programme’, Rs 290 million for construction of five roads were being spent. Similarly, in Municipal Services Programme, Rs 670 million had been earmarked for 177 schemes, he added.

On the occasion, Special Assistant to CM Punjab Javed Akhtar Ansari, MPAs Saleem Labar, Wasif Raan, Zaheer Khan Alazai, Tariq Abdullah and various officials were also present.