By Shabbir Mir
GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) government has decided to introduce an inter-city transport system in Gilgit.
The region’s government also decided to merge the two main development authorities into one supra body.
The decisions – part of the city beautification plan – were taken during a meeting chaired by the G-B Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman and was attended by officials from G-B Development Authority in Gilgit on Wednesday.
“The project of inter-city transportation will be included in the next annual development budget,” said CM Rehman after being briefed about various on-going projects in the capital city.
Updating participants in the meeting, Rehman said they had initiated talks with an international transport company to purchase vehicles for the transport project.
The chief minister’s comments came amidst growing criticism of his government for the unchecked smuggling of non-customs paid cars from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to G-B. The influx, of what is locally termed NCP cars, has aggravated traffic problems in the region where most of the roads are carved through rocks and are narrow.
The growing traffic is also considered a threat to the clean environment of the region.
According to the chief minister, the project would also facilitate students, patients and the elderly in the region.
It was further decided during the meeting that the Gilgit and Baltistan development authorities would be merged into one body, the G-B Development Authority (G-BDA).
Apart from converting the Gari-Bagh road into a dual carriage road, the chief minister also asked the G-BDA to speed up renovation of a graveyard for liberation war heroes located in the historic Chinar Bagh – an area located adjacent to the chief minister house.
The G-BDA has also been asked to speed up work on the family park being constructed on River View Road, near the G-B Assembly.
In addition, the government will launch the first-ever food street project in the region in the “Konodas pull-road” area of Gilgit town. The chief minister has sought financial support from local traders for the project.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2017.