Re-enumeration of Zabul population urged
QALAT (PAN): The population of Zabul has reached 700,000, not 270,000, as estimated by the central government, which provides funds to provinces on the basis of their population, a senior official said on Saturday.
In the current year's budget, the central government has allocated 15 million afghanis to the southern province, the deputy governor said, complaining the amount is not enough to meet residents' needs.
Mohammad Jan Rasulyar, in an interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, urged the central government to re-enumerate the Zabul population and provide it funds accordingly. He said the government should stick to the population yardstick for allocating funds to provinces.
Provincial council chief, Haji Azizullah, said a meagre amount had been set aside in the provincial budget for development and reconstruction projects. He added initiating development projects in the province would help reduce the gap between the people and the government.
"We urge provincial officials to pressurise the central government to consider Zabul's reconstruction," the public representative said.
The twenty-nine development projects, which have been approved for Zabul this year, will be implemented in the provincial capital, Qalat, and some districts, said an official at the governor's house, Abdul Khaliq Uruzgani.
Seven of the schemes have been approved for water and power department, one each for public welfare, transport, labour and social welfare and regional organs, four for rural development, three for agriculture, five for public health and four for education departments.
The cost of the projects is estimated at more than 15 million afghanis, the official said, adding the governor's house has received a list of the plans. Work on the projects is yet to be initiated.
The list had been sent to all departments concerned who had managed to find contractors and work on the schemes would soon be launched, Uruzgani said.
In response to a question, he said the projects would be implemented under a comprehensive plan and all departments concerned taken into confidence on security problems in districts. Uruzgani is sure about cent percent implementation of the projects.
He said Zabul was lagging behind other provinces in terms of development activities and needed a number of reconstruction projects.
On the other hand, residents say the projects approved for Zabul are not enough to meet their requirements. They asked the central government to increase funds for the province in the annual budget.
Mohammad Ibrahim, a Qalat resident, said he did not see any project initiated by the government this year. Most of the projects in Qalat have been carried out by the provincial reconstruction team, he explained.
Ibrahim said the provincial government had been unable to launch any mega project so far. He suggested that provincial officials should put pressure on the central government to increase funds for the province.
A resident of Arghandab district, Haji Saleh Mohammad, said the central government should initiate development projects in troubled districts, where residents were faced with numerous problems.
He criticised the provincial government for giving importance to Qalat and Shahr-i-Safa district alone in carrying out development projects.
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