May 26

PM desires to expedite work on ERRA mega projects

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has expressed confidence that despite challenges Earthquake Rehabilitation & Reconstruction Authority (ERRA) would be able to meet the targets for early completion of rehabilitation & reconstruction work. The Prime Minister expressed these views during his meeting with the Deputy Chairman ERRA, Lt. General Akram Sajjad at the Prime Minister’s House this morning during which he presented annual progress report of ERRA for the year 2007.

He said that in order to speed up the reconstruction and rehabilitation work in the earthquake affected areas, he had given a commitment to the affectees during his visit to the affected areas that despite his busy schedule he would hold a monthly meeting of ERRA Council to personally review the progress of work. The challenges arising out of socio-economic factors he said would be overcome with appropriate measures and commitment.

The Prime Minister desired that the Mega Projects of Muzaffrabad should be expedited to benefit the people. He also asked the Deputy Chairman ERRA to specifically attend to the grievances of the people of Balakot as the city was totally destroyed and the people need to be rehabilitated at the earliest. The Prime Minister further said that it has been observed that some of Government sponsored educational projects of ERRA are running behind schedule which require immediate attention to expedite the work and assured government’s support in this regard.

The Prime Minister was pleased to lift the ban on employment for the projects related managerial and technical posts of ERRA in order to facilitate the speed of reconstruction work. It may be recalled that the Prime Minister had already chaired an ERRA Council meeting on 26th April as well as visited the Earthquake affected areas to see for him the reconstruction and rehabilitation work. He attaches special concern for the affectees who had undergone great sufferings because of the catastrophic earthquake.

The Prime Minister said that the sufferings of the earthquake affectees could not be forgotten and the government would leave no stone unturned to provide them better facilities than before. He said that the government would extend all possible support to create better environment for the people to live a better life. Appreciating the work done by the ERRA in confronting the holistic task of reconstruction and rehabilitation in the earthquake affected areas of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K) and NWFP, the Prime Minister said that although the reconstruction work was a huge challenge already being handled effectively, the resilience and commitment of the people undoubtedly played a supporting role.

The Prime Minister said that the spirit of nationalism and unity displayed by the people of all the provinces at the time of catastrophic earthquake was a mark of solidarity and brotherhood. He said that the contribution made by the people of Pakistan was unparallel; nevertheless the assistance extended by the entire world was equally significant to cope with this un-imaginable task.

He said beside the fact that the earthquake resulted in a great loss to the people; the reconstruction process has generated new opportunities of self-reliance and self-confidence for the people. He said that affiliation of more than half a million people with the reconstruction business has ushered in a new era of social & economic activities in the area.

The Deputy Chairman ERRA apprised the Prime Minister of the progress on a number of projects in various sectors in the affected areas of AJ&K and NWFP. The Prime Minister was informed that all the international agencies have reposed their full confidence in ERRA for the excellent execution of reconstruction and rehabilitation work in the earthquake affected areas. He also informed that as per Prime Minister Directive the elected representatives of the affected areas are taken on board to facilitate the process of early completion of the reconstruction work. This he said would ensure their participation as well as ownership of the facilities being developed.

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