GILGIT: An environment act will be passed in the next session of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly to ensure that work on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project does not have a negative impact on the region. This was said by G-B Parliamentary Secretary for Law Aurangzeb Khan on Monday at a press conference in Gilgit.
“We will pass the act to ensure the environment remains unaffected during the massive construction expected for CPEC,” said Aurangzeb. “This is one of the four acts we presented in the assembly recently and hopefully the house will pass it in the next session.”
Mega construction is envisaged for the economic corridor that aims to connect Gwadar Port, in the southwest of Pakistan, with China.
Aurangzeb also spoke about the recommended increase in the salaries of lawmakers, saying the demanded increase is less than what their counterparts in the rest of the countries were enjoying.
Also present on the occasion, Minister for Works Dr Muhammad Iqbal said various development schemes have been deleted from the annual plan only because they were not based on merit. He said the schemes were included in the plan by the previous government just days before their term completed. “Those schemes were included just to drag us into a complex situation and defame us,” said Iqbal. He was referring to a scheme for a road for which an amount of Rs7 million were allocated. “With that amount we couldn’t have completed some kilometres let alone construct a 100-kilometre-long route.”
He added their government had achieved nearly 80 to 90% success in their 100-day target as work on roads and bridges had been completed.
“At least four megawatts of power was included in the existing power generation capacity which should help overcome an acute power crisis during winter,” said senior minister Akbar Taban during the press conference. “The government faced disasters twice [earthquake and floods] but all out efforts were made to alleviate the sufferings of the people.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2015.