‘New Balakot City’ issue to be resolved on priority basis: Chairman NDMA

Balakot - The News Today - TNT

ISLAMABAD: Chairman, National Disaster Management Authority, (NDMA), Lieutenant General, Akhtar Nawaz Satti, ‘New Balakot City’ dispute will be resolved on priority basis and it is responsibility of the provincial government to vacate the land from the occupants.

He urged the stakeholders to cooperate with the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) and said that a meeting with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, about the Bakrial City will be held on Monday next.

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The Chairman NDMA was speaking during a meeting of affectees of Balakot’s ‘Red Zone’ called by Senator and Lieutenant General (Retd) Abdul Qayyum Awan, at PM House on Wednesday.

Chairman ERRA Brig Asim, Brig Ahsan Mumtaz, renowned religious scholar Qazi Khalil Ahmed, Special Assistant to CM Syed Ahmed Hussain Shah, Haji Muhammad Maroof Awan, Tauheed Ahmed Khan Bangash, Rajab Ali Azad, Khurshid Zaman and Senate Consultant for Defence Production Jawad Ahmad Khan also attended the meeting.

Addressing the meeting, Qazi Khalil Ahmed said that people of Balakot, were spending miserable life due to lack of basic life amenities including health, education and other facilities.

He said that since the devastating quake of Oct 08, 2005, the affectees of ‘Red Zone’ were being deceived and their genuine issues have not been resolve despite passage of 15 years.

The former ‘district khateeb’ especially thanked Gen. (Retd) Abdul Qayyum for providing an opportunity to the affectees to convey their distresses to the authorities concerned for their resolution.

Addressing the meeting, SACM Syed Ahmed Hussain Shah demanded for issuing allotment letters of plots in New Balakot City besides increasing the number of plots. He also expressed serious concerns over poor condition of road, educational institutions and hospitals in tehsil Balakot.

Advocate Tauheed Ahmed Bangash was of the opinion that due to delay in ‘New Balakot City’ projects, land grabbers have started illegally occupying the land endowed for the project.

Gen. (Rtd) Abdul Qayyum suggested that instead of started a project on a disputed land, the project should be launched somewhere else.

Muhammad Maroof Awan was of the view that instead of ‘Lolly Pops’ and suggestion to pay to affectees against the plots, they should be allotted plots as pledged.

Rajab Ali lamented the hollow claims and lip services to satisfy the affectees. The people of ‘Red Zone’ were forced to lead a miserable life due to verbal pledges. They were fed-up and no more ready to trust them, he added.

Senior journalist Khurshid Zaman stated that due rights should be awarded to the affectees protesting for the last one and half decade. He said that no more option other than allotment of plots will be considered.

Chairman NDMA Lt Gen Akhtar Nawaz Satti assured the affectees of resolving the issue at earliest and appealed the stakeholders including political, social activists and public representatives for extending all out cooperation in this connection. Bakrial City was the right of people of Balakot city and will be granted to them under all circumstances, he vowed.

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