Peshawar: The KP government has decided to impose a ban on all sorts of new constructions alongside the rivers, kanals, and waterways in the province. The high-level meeting was chaired by chief minister Mahmood Ahmed Khan. The CM also ordered the concerned authorities to carry out a comprehensive anti-encroachment drive against the existing encroachments. The CM also directed the concerned authorities not to take into consideration any political pressure in this regard. He also directed the concerned quarters to impose section 144 against the construction of new houses and commercial and non-commercial infrastructures alongside waterways which also include Swat, Panjkora, and Kunar rivers and other canals of the irrigation department throughout the province.
Talking on the occasion the CM said that all stakeholders should understand their responsibilities in this regard and no department would issue any NOCs any more near the waterways. He said that these encroachments have adversely affected the economy of Pakistan during the floods besides the loss of precious human lives. He said, “There is no room for negligence or delay in taking action against these encroachments.”
The Chief Minister further added that the irrigation department should initiate to identify the flood-prone sites in the KP province. He said, “The relevant rules and regulations need to be implemented in letter and spirit to stop encroachments.” The CM stressed the need for short-term, midterm, and long-term planning to completely eliminate encroachment alongside the rivers of the Hazara and Malakand Divisions. He added that in the long term the construction of small dams would be ensured and directed the concerned authorities to put up proposals in this connection. It was also informed during the meeting that so far more than a hundred illegal structures have been removed in five different operations in Kalam, Madyan, Bahrain, Fiza Ghat, and Mingora.