Communications, climate change ministries sign MoU
ISLAMABAD – The Ministry of Communications and Ministry of Climate Change have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Tuesday to start plantation alongside the Right of Way of Motorways and National Highways across the country.
Both the ministries would implement a project titled “Apni Shahrah” with the help of private sector. The ministry of communications would identify the areas where the plantation would be done while ministry of climate change would execute the project on ground.
Senior Joint Secretary Communications Altaf Asghar and Inspector General (Forest) from Ministry of Climate Change Syed Mehmood Nasir signed the said MoU. State Minister for Climate Change Zartaj Gul, Federal Secretary for Communications Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Federal Secretary Climate Change Hasan Nasir Jami, Chairman National Highway Authority (NHA) Jawwad Rafique Malik and senior officers of both the ministries participated. While addressing the MoU signing ceremony, Federal Minster for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed said that promise of elimination of corruption would be fulfilled. Under Clean and Green Pakistan programme, pragmatic steps are being taken for plantation along national highways and motorways.
Murad Saeed said that as per vision of Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, ten billion trees will be planted under Clean and Green Pakistan campaign and that signing of MOU between Ministry of Communications and Ministry of Climate Change is a step forward to this direction, under which plantation will be done along motorways and national highways throughout the country.
Besides completing ongoing schemes, he desired to undertake new road building projects on BOT basis. Improved health and education facilities and provision of clean drinking water, promotion of tourism and building of farm to market roads stand among priorities of the government, he added.
Project “Apni Shahrah” envisages engaging donors and sponsors from Civil Society Business Community and Private Organizations in planting and maintaining trees within Right of Way (ROW) of National Highways and Motorways as part of Clean and Green Pakistan, programme of the government.
As per MOU, potential sites for plantation will be made available by Ministry of Communications and maintenance of plantation will be carried out as roads maintenance activity. Zartaj Gul in her address said, Ministry of Climate Change has initiated “Apni Shahrah” project with cooperation of Ministry of Communications that will be realised with the cooperation of business community, Civil society and NGO’s to make country clean and green.
Under this project Right of Way of national highways and motorways will be utilized for plantation. She said, planting trees is “Sadqa-i- Jarya” and that trees provide protection against floods, heat wave and disasters.
Murad Saeed once again blamed the previous government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for embezzlement of over Rs60 billion in Multan-Sukhar Motorway project.
Earlier, the minister while addressing a press conference had reaffirmed his commitment to unearth corruption done in mega infrastructure projects and said the looted amount would be recovered.
He said that the PML-N led-government has signed a MoU for construction of Multan-Sukkur Motorway with a company worth 259 billion rupees and later the cost was increased up to 292 billion rupees due to financial mismanagement and the project suffered a huge loss.
He said this MoU was of unique kind in Pakistan’s history as it allowed the single company to prepare the design, conduct the feasibility and even to execute the project.