PESHAWAR, June 5: The overlapping of uplift activities, planned by Fata Development Authority and Civil Secretariat for the tribal areas, has caused huge financial losses to the national exchequer, sources say. The authority, which has the mandate to develop human and natural resources in the backward Fata, planned to develop townships in all seven agencies. A study was conducted in Fata through a private consultancy firm in 2008-09 which identified some 30 sites for developing townships.
The government had intended to introduce tribal people to a culture of modern and decent living, in a self-sufficient unit where all the basic amenities of life would be made available, bringing about a socio-economic change and checking the problems associated with haphazard urban expansion. According to the official statement an amount of Rs6 million was paid to Peshawar-based M/s Consulting Associates, which conducted the study. The officials said that four suitable sites were selected for the first phase where proper townships were to be developed.
The sites included Akakhel Mirrikhel in Khyber Agency, Enzar in South Waziristan Agency, Loe Sam in Bajaur Agency and Edak in North Waziristan Agency. The consultant also furnished PC-II of two townships in South Waziristan and Bajaur agencies. In the meantime Fata Civil Secretariat designed similar project and planned to develop housing schemes in different agencies of Fata. A spokesman for the authority told Dawn that they had been asked to keep their plan pending because the secretariat would kick off its own project.
An official said that secretariat would develop townships in Fata under the Tribal Areas Rural to Urban Centres Conversion Initiative (TARUCCI) project. He said that housing schemes equipped with all basic facilities would be developed in 14 areas of the militancy-ravaged Fata. Interestingly the secretariat does not have funds for the ambitious plan. The period of the project is two years and its total cost has been estimated at $7 million. The secretariat has already appointed project director and subordinate staff and approved the plan in November 2010.
The official said that World Bank was likely to provide loan for the project as negotiations were in progress with the lending agency. Another proposed project of Fata Development Authority has also met the same fate. Under the project the authority conducted study on tourism potential in Fata. The study was started through a Lahore-based consultancy group in 2008 which was accomplished in February 2010.
The authority paid Rs1.6 million to the company for conducting the study, but now the document has been put in cold storage. Officials said that secretariat might take over the project. The purpose of the study was to develop an inventory of potential tourism sites in the tribal area, identify infrastructure and develop an integrated tourism uplift strategy for the area. Dozens of sites have been identified in the study.
In Khyber Agency, there were 11 potential tourism sites that were identified during the study. These included Bab-i-Khyber, Jamrud Fort, Shagai Fort, Ali Masjid, Landi Kotal Bazaar, Michni Post, Torkham Border, Tirah Valley, Bara Spera Dam, Shalman Area and Steam Safari Train. In Kurram Agency, the identified potential tourism sites were Parachinar, Kirman, Zairan, Shalozan, Khar Lachi Fort, Chapri, Terimengal and Koh-i-Sufaid.
In South Waziristan Agency, the potential sites included Makeen, Ladha, Kaniguram, Peerghar, Wana, Jandola (FR Tank), Shaktui and Sararogha. In North Waziristan Agency, the potential sites included Razmak, Miramshah, Shawal, Valley, Datta Khel, Gurmeek (Beermal) and Ghulam Khan. In Orakzai Agency, important tourist sites were Kalaya, Samana, Gulistan Fort, Feroz Khel, Zaira, Landok, Manawar and Khalwat. In Mohmand Agency, the potential tourism sites included Michni, Grave of Haji Torangzai (Ghaziabad), Ghalanai, Khawazai, Chamar Kand, Yakkaaund and Mander Dam.
In Bajaur Agency, the important sites that possessed potential for attracting tourist traffic were Charmang, Khar, Mamond, Salarzo, Sikandro, Nawa Pass, Shakai Pass, Grave of Memona (Sher Alam), Chamar Kand, Nawagai and Barang. In Frontier Regions, four sites were identified that included Darra Adamkhel in FR Kohat, Kurram Tangi Dam in FR Bannu, Takhte Sulaiman and Darazinda in FR Dera Ismail Khan.