30 % work on New Balakot City completed so far: NA told

ISLAMABAD, May 11 (APP): Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi on Thursday informed the National Assembly that unfortunately 30 per cent work on New Balakot City has been completed so far.

In response to a question during Question Hour, the minister said the federal government had released Rs 1.5 billion for acquisition of land to the provincial Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government in 2007. PC-1 of New Balakot City Development Project was approved by the ECNEC amounting to Rs 12,000 million, he said.

The minister said a total of Rs 2,969 million has been released and spent on the project so far. However the responsibility rests with the provincial government to complete the remaining 70 per cent work, he said.

He said work on the project was delayed due to non-availability of encumbrance free land and funds besides resistance from locals.

He said Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) has been mandated by the government to work in 9 districts of Earthquake-2005 affected areas which include Abbottabad, Mansehra, Battagram, Shangla and Kohistan in KP and Muzaffrabad, Bagh, Poonch and Neelum in AJZ while Chitral was out of ambit of ERRA.

To another separate question, the minister said no development funds were released by the former government to the members of the National Assembly.