Mazar residents happy with reconstruction projects
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Residents of this capital city of northern Balkh province say they are happy with reconstruction projects implemented in the city, but those living in districts complain of being ignored. Development projects in districts could not be carried out due to insecurity.
"There has been positive change in the lives of people in Mazar-i-Sharif due to reconstruction activities, compared to past few years", a resident of the third police district, Syed Mustafa, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
“I remember the roads were in a bad condition six years back. There was no water supply system and the people would face several problems,” he recalled.
A fabric shop owner, Agha Shirin, was happy with the reconstruction activities in the city, said their main problem was electricity, which is available to them every second day.
Work to repair the power system had been completed, but still it has problem, he added.
However, provincial Energy and Water Director, Eng. Nasir said the ministry concerned was not taking steps to repair the system.
The power system was repaired with the cost of $20 million provided by the World Bank three years ago. The renovation work is still ongoing, he said.
"If the Ministry of Energy and Water accelerates the overhauling process, residents of the city would get an early rid of the situation," he said.
Residents in some districts complain about delay in completion of welfare schemes in their areas.
A tribal elder from Daulatabad district, Mohammad Sarwar, said construction work on a 35-kilomentre road, connecting their village Lindai with district centre, was launched two years ago by the Rural Rehabilitation and Development Department, but no practical work on the road had so far been carried out.
Although security problems hinder development activities, Sarwar said, they had time and again assured the government of security for the road project.
He said the road could be completed within six months if practical work was launched.
Residents of Balkh district also complain about the bad condition of roads and lack of facilities for education.
“We can’t travel on roads due to dust in summer and mud in winter,” said a resident of Yousufabad area, Qasam Khan.
Meanwhile, Charboldak district residents complain about a lack of bridges in their areas. Bridges should be constructed in three areas including Shash Paikal, Beest Paikal and Salar Teba, said resident Mualim Ghayasuddin. He urged the government to open more schools and health clinic in their area.
The governor’s spokesman, Munir Farhad, said that Balkh was one of the provinces where local officials have to prepare a five-year reconstruction plan. "Like previous years, this year that started March 22, local officials have proposed 4 to 10 projects to each ministry for approval under the five-year plan for Balkh."
The projects included hospitals, water dams, water cannels, roads, school buildings and others, he said. Nearly three million people are living in all the 13 districts and the provincial capital of Balkh province, according to Farhad, who said all districts would be treated equally.
He said only Balkh, Chamtal and Charboldak districts were comparatively violent and the situation there could have a negative impact on the implementation of development projects, the spokesman added.
He said this year's funds to be allocated by the central government had not yet reached the province.
He said they were waiting for the funds to fulfill the requirements of their people.
He said thousands of people would be provided work opportunities through development projects which had been proposed by Governor Ata Mohammad Noor-led development committee, he said.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.