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PESHAWAR: KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan has expressed displeasure over encroachments and illegal construction activities being carried out on river banks in some of the tourist spots of Malakand Division.

He has directed the concerned divisional and district administrations to take indiscriminate actions against all such types of encroachments and illegal construction activities further directing them to devise a strategy with implementation plan to prevent such activities in the future, said an official handout issued here on Sunday.

He was chairing a meeting regarding the removal of encroachments and prevention of illegal construction activities on river banks in tourist areas of the province. MPA Mian Sharafat Ali, Principal Secretary to CM Amjad Ali Khan, administrative secretaries of concerned departments, Commissioner Malakand, RPO Malakand, Deputy Commissioner Swat and other concerned authorities attended the meeting.

The chair reprimanded the concerned officers and officials for encroachments and illegal construction activities on river banks in famous tourist area Kalam Swat, directed them to take all the required steps to make the river banks free of all types of encroachments on immediate basis and to submit him a report accordingly; and warned them of strict action saying that no officer or official will further continue to hold his position otherwise.

He said that on one hand, illegal constructions spoil the natural beauty of rivers while on the other hand it causes loss to precious human lives and properties when there is flood in the river adding that such activities will not be tolerated at any cost and indiscriminate action be taken against all those involved no matter how much influential one is. He strictly directed the local administration to be vigilant all the time and to take action against such illegal activities on river side well in time further directing them to strictly implement the relevant laws and by laws in vogue to this end. While taking notice of reports regarding dropping garbage into rivers in some places, the Chief Minister again directed the local administration prevent such practices on permanent basis, punish those involved under the relevant rules and regulations; and to implement the River Protection Act in its letter and spirit.

The meeting decided to constitute an operational committee headed by Commissioner Malakand with the aim to identify all such encroachments on rivers banks, remove those encroachments on immediate basis and to protect rivers from all types of pollution.

Similarly, it was also decided to constitute a committee headed by secretary irrigation at provincial level to come up with recommendations to make the existing laws and rules more stringent with the aim to prevent illegal encroachments on rivers sides on sustainable basis.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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