PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Local Government and Rural Development Inayatullah Khan said the PTI government had already completed all arrangements for local bodies’ elections; however recent decision of the Supreme Court on delimitation will delay the process.

In an exclusive interview with The Nation, he said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the first province after Balochistan, which has completed its process before the given deadline of the Supreme Court.

However, he said a new decision of the apex court, directing the election commission to review the delimitation process would delay the polls.

He expressed the hope that no issue of delimitation would be emerged and the election commission will gave a green signal for holding the local bodies’ elections.  Regarding the performance of the Local Government Department, the minister said that they have taken remarkable steps for increasing the revenue of the department and in this connection the department holds an open auction to follow merit and rules regulation.

He said that videos of auction would be available on the website of the concern department which aimed to ensure impartiality and discourage the culture of nepotism and favouritism.

Giving the example of Peshawar bus stand, he said that each year the contract had been given to their blue eyed people with low rate while the incumbent government has generated 12 times extra revenue as compared to the previous government.

“We have allocated huge amount of budget worth 1.5 billion rupees for Peshawar beautification and in this connection we have increased plantation in green belts of main roads while all the major billboards, which were creating hurdles in the beautification process have been removed,” he mentioned.

He informed that they would also construct monuments and public parks in Peshawar to provide healthy environment to the militancy-hit people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Peshawar.

When asked about creation of more provinces in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said that Jamaat-e-Islami is against the creation and division of the province on the basis of ethnicity and language. He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is a small province and its further division will create problems for other divisions while renaming the province as Hazara Pakhtunkhwa would be sufficient for addressing the reservation of the people of Hazara.

When questioned about the differences with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf after opening of NATO supply, he said that Jamaat-e-Islami has conveyed its message and in this connection Imran Khan has regretted that the decision has been taken after the high court’s order. He said that everything is on right track and all the coalition partners are on the same page on all issues of public interest as well as good governance.

About the fate of 15,000 illegal appointments in the Local Government Department, Inayatullah said that cases of some illegal inductions are running in the court and soon the matter of these illegal appointments would be settled after the court verdict. He explained that recently 28 posts in the PDA have been filled through NTS and there is no single illegal appointment in his department since the new government took responsibility. “We are bringing such system of governance where the rights of each citizen would be protected and both Jamaat-e-Islami and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf were totally agreed on this viewpoint,” he uttered.

When asked regarding the lapse of ADP funds for the ongoing financial year. The minister said that 48 percent funds of ADP have been spent while tenders for various projects have been advertised.

He maintained that soon the missing part of ring road would be completed and works have been initiated on this project. He said that earlier deadline for Mufti Mahmood fly over was given 31 March but due to some reason the project takes some time however its completion would be ensured in couple of months.

Regarding the fair distribution of potable water, the minister said that they are planning to provide alternate electric supply to all the tube-wells being operated in Peshawar and also link a water channel with Warsak dam to overcome the shortage of water. He said provision of solar panel to these tube-wells was also one of the options to resolve the problem of water shortage.

To a question about removal of solid waste from Peshawar city, he replied that 29 Kanal lands have been acquired for solid waste management and an agreement has been signed with three companies. He said that steps have also been initiated to resolve the problem of drainage system in the city.

He said that around 3,500 village councils have been established in Peshawar.