Sindh to buy 89 fire engines for civic bodies, says CM Murad Ali Shah

Sindh to buy 89 fire engines for civic bodies, says CM Murad Ali Shah

Sindh’s chief minister has directed the local government department to expedite the process for procuring fire engines, snorkels, garbage trucks, trash compactors and tractor trolleys for the local bodies of the province.

CM Syed Murad Ali Shah issued these directives during a meeting on Saturday. The provincial administration has decided to provide snorkels to all the divisional headquarters, and fire engines, garbage trucks, trash compactors and tractors trolleys to the municipal committees and towns.

A proposal has been floated to purchase 89 fire engines, 15 snorkels and a large number of garbage trucks, trash compactors and tractor trolleys for around Rs4 billion. For the ongoing financial year Rs1.5 billion have been allocated.

The snorkels will be provided to the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, the Qasimabad Municipal Committee, Nawabshah, Sukkur, Larkana, Mirpurkhas and Larkana.

These divisional headquarters, except Qasimabad, have no snorkel to extinguish fires in high-rises. Out of the 89 fire engines, 15 will be provided to Karachi, 10 to Hyderabad, eight to Larkana, six to Shaheed Benazirabad, four to Qasimabad and the rest to others cities. Similarly, garbage trucks, trash compactors and tractor trolleys will be provided to the town and municipal committees.

The chief executive directed LG Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah to revise the list of the municipal committees and towns so that the largest in terms of population and works can be provided fire engines on a priority basis in the first phase and the remaining bodies in the second.

CM Shah also directed the LG department to issue strict directives to all the local bodies operating across the province, including in the rural areas, to ensure proper cleanliness of their respective roads and streets as well as to maintain their sanitation system.

GIS for forests

The LG minister, who also holds the portfolio of forests, informed the meeting that he has devised a plan to develop a geographic information system (GIS) covering all the forests of the province.

The chief executive said that the Board of Revenue’s automation unit has the technology, and advised the LG minister to involve the board in the GIS plan.

CM Shah said that through GIS, the provincial government will be able to monitor all the activities in the forests, and even detect that if those who have been given forest land are complying with the conditions of the allotment.

The CM said that the time has come to take the maximum benefit from the latest technology not only for forests but also for the taxation system. The meeting decided to invite international tenders.


Import of 6,786 items from China exempted from duty

Import of 6,786 items from China exempted from duty

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has granted concessionary rate of customs duty or zero percent duty on the import of 6,786 items from China with effect from January 1, 2020. The FBR has issued SRO 1640(I)/2019 here on Tuesday in supersession of notification SRO 659(I)/2007, dated the 30th June, 2007.

According to the SRO 1640(I)/2019, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 19 of the Customs Act, 1969, and in supersession of notification SRO 659(I)/2007, dated the 30th June, 2007, the federal government has exempted, with effect from January 1, 2020, unless specified otherwise, the import into Pakistan from China of the goods specified from so much of the customs duty specified in the First Schedule as on the 1st January, 2020.

Provided that the goods are manufactured or produced and imported in conformity with the Rules of Determination of Origin of Goods and the operational certification procedures for the Rules of Origin notified by the Ministry of Commerce vide SRO 1286(I)/ 2005, dated 24th December, 2005 read with the Import Policy Order, 2016.

The reduced rate of duty, fixed rate or zero percent duty would be applicable on the import of crude oil (Rs 8000/MT), palm stearin (Rs 9050/MT), RBD Palm oil (Rs 10800/MT), palm olein (Rs 9050.0/MT), pure breeding animals, meat of goats, fish, yogurt, whey powder, butter, dairy spreads, cheese, honey, vegetables, mushrooms, green tea, black tea, rice, beverages, gold, silver, varnishes, artificial staple fibers, vehicles parts, satellite communication equipment, radio navigation apparatus, parts/accessories for cable TV/satellite receivers, energy saving lamps, cameras, energy saving tubes, components for the assembly/manufacture of vehicles in any kit form and other items specified in SRO 1640(I)/2019.


Pakistan offers Qatar security for 2022 FIFA World Cup

Pakistan offers Qatar security for 2022 FIFA World Cup

President Arif Alvi on Monday offered Qatar of providing security for the next FIFA World Cup being held in the Gulf country in 2022, stressing that the country had vast experience in that domain.

Talking to Commander of the Qatar Emiri Guard, Maj-Gen Hazzaa Bin Khalil Bin Mansour Al-Shahwani, who along with a delegation called on him in Islamabad, Dr Alvi said a lot of scope existed between the two countries to include defence export and joint production ventures.

The president underscored that having vast experience in the domain of security and the professionalism of its armed forces, “Pakistan can provide Qatar security for Football World Cup 2022,” according to Radio Pakistan.

He emphasised on the need for enhancing the training collaboration and professional interaction between defence forces of the two countries, and appreciated the agreement for sale of eight Super Mushak aircraft to Qatar worth $57.74 million in 2016.

Alvi urged Qatar to support Pakistan in its endeavours to highlight Indian human rights violations in occupied Kashmir before the world. He stressed the need for the international community to persuade India to resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.

“The fascist Indian regime is flagrantly violating the human rights of Kashmiris by revoking the special status of occupied Kashmir and by suspending their civil liberties. The Indian government has adopted a hostile attitude towards all its minorities,” the report quoted Alvi as saying.

Maj-Gen Al-Shahwani said Qatar considered it a religious duty to support Pakistan at all levels.

Meeting with army chief

Separately, the Qatari commander called on army chief General Qamar Bajwa at the GHQ in Rawalpindi.


Matters of mutual and professional interest and regional security situation were discussed in the meeting.

The visiting dignitary appreciated professionalism of Pakistan Army, and expressed his desire for increased Pakistan-Qatar defence collaboration.


Rescue 1122 gets UN certification

Rescue 1122 gets UN certification

LAHORE: The Punjab Emergency Service, Rescue 1122, has officially been certified by the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG), an organisation supervised by the United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The official announcement was made by INSARAG Secretariat Winston Chang during a ceremony at the Governor House on Thursday. By passing this certification, the Pakistan Rescue Team (Rescue 1122) is now a UN certified search and rescue team that can be called in to respond to earthquakes around the world.

The ceremony was attended by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Rescue 1122 Director General Dr Rizwan Naseer and the official team of INSARAG.

At the ceremony, the foreign minister and the governor congratulated the team and said that Rescue 1122 had added yet another feather to their cap.

“This achievement is a result of the hard work and dedication of Rescue 1122,” said the foreign minister.

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar maintained that he has witnessed the helplessness of the people after the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. During that time, teams from the United Kingdom (UK) and other parts of the world arrived in the country to assist in the rescue operation as Pakistan did not possess a trained emergency response mechanism, he said.

Punjab Emergency Service Director General Dr Rizwan Naseer stated that the emergency services academy, established by Rescue 1122 in Lahore, has been selected as the place for stationing the Pakistan Rescue Team due to its central location and undeniable role in training emergency staff.

“The team will be able to train others from different provinces as well as those from neighbouring countries,” he maintained.

Meanwhile, in a statement the UK International Development Secretary of State Alok Sharma also offered his congratulations on completing this feat. “I am a proud expert of INSARAG which has mentored many Pakistani colleagues. Sharing British expertise has made Pakistan better equipped to respond to natural disasters,” he said.


CDA Installs Intelligent Traffic Management System On Islamabad Highway

CDA Installs Intelligent Traffic Management System On Islamabad Highway

ISLAMABAD, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 29th Sep, 2019 ) :In an effort to introduce smart traffic management systems in Islamabad, in the first phase, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has installed intelligent traffic management system on Islamabad Highway which would be later on replicated on Kashmir Highway, Margalla Road and other major avenues of the city Chief Commissioner Islamabad and IG Islamabad visited the state of the art control room of Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) established at Islamabad Highway.

The ITS is being introduced on Islamabad Highway as a pilot project, however, all major roads including Kashmir Highway, Margalla Road and other would be linked with this system within next six months so that the traffic management of the city could be modernized.

The traffic signals will be replaced with smart traffic lights.

The ITS system being introduced on Islamabad Expressway would be helpful effective traffic management. Commuters will not only get information about time of their journey but would also remain aware about the updates and happening on the Islamabad Expressway.

Electronic signage has already been installed at Islamabad highway for this purpose. For the facilitation of general public, a mobile app has also been introduced titled “Capital Road Information System (CRIS)”. This system will help reduce traffic incidents in the Islamabad Expressway. The residents of Islamabad will be able to plan their travel more effectively and in an efficient manner.

Highway Satellite Stations Of Rescue 1122 Service To Be Setup On Eight Main Points In KP

Highway Satellite Stations Of Rescue 1122 Service To Be Setup On Eight Main Points In KP

PESHAWAR, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 25th Sep, 2019 ):The Government of Khyber Pakthunkhwa has decided to setup highway satellite stations of Rescue Service 1122 on eight main points to provide quick and instant relief to people during emergency situation.

These highway satellite stations with a proposed USAID grant of Rs 155.2million would be setup on main highways including Kohat-Bannu Road, Sari Gambeela, Peshawar-Mardan and Mardan-Swabi MI Motorway, Katlang-Mardan Swat Expressway, Sari Saleh Hazara Expressway, Malakand Tunnels and Lowari Tunnel Chitral.

Two Rescue Service 1122 stations each in all seven tribal districts of erstwhile Fata would also be established to provide quick relief and instant assistance to tribesmen during emergency situation.

Likewise, one each Rescue 1122 station would be established in all former frontier regions (FRs) to provide speedy assistance to people during natural calamity and other emergency situation.

This was stated by senior officials of Provincial Relief, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Department Khyber Pakthunkhwa during a briefing given to the Chief Minister Khyber Pakthunkhwa here at the CM Secretariat Peshawar.

In presence of the Chief Minister KP, Rescue 1122 has signed a historic agreement with Careem Auto Service to deliver its emergency services to people at their doorsteps through the latter’s Mobile Apps.

This was a landmark initiative of Government through which people would get quick and instant relief in case of eruption of fire, roads accidents, earthquakes, floods, building collapse and other emergency situation.

The agreement had enabled masses to avail emergency services of Rescue 1122 promptly and call out its ambulances and fire brigades through Careem Auto Service mobile Apps.

A separate option was available in Careem Mobile Applications for getting services of Rescue 1122 at a single click.

It merits to mention here that establishment of Rescue 1122 stations in erstwhile Fata has been approved by Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP) on May 22, 2019 costing Rs 3670 million out of which Rs2500 million were already released. One Rescue 1122 station has already started function at Jamrud Khyber tribal district.

A total of 63 Rescue 1122 stations were planned from March 2010 to June 2018 out of which 12 stations were working in proper premises, 23 in makeshifts, 14 are under construction and land for 14 were finalized.

Moreover, two Rescue 1122 stations each in Lower Kohistan, Malakand, Shangla, Lakki Marwat districts would be setup in fiscal year 2019-20 as these schemes were approved by PDWP on September 17, 2019 with allocation of Rs1282 million, and that land identification for these stations has been achieved.

In addition to 28 new stations for forest fire fighting, existing stations would be equipped with additional ambulances, fire fighting trucks and building evacuation apparatus under national disasters risk management fund costing Rs 429 million would help provide instant services to people.

The Chief Minister was briefed about Glacial Lake Outburst flood-II program and was told that procurement orders for purchase of latest equipment including boats, life jackets, water rescue etc for Malakand Division were finalized

10 projects approved for disaster risk reduction

10 projects approved for disaster risk reduction

ISLAMABAD: The Board of Directors of the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) has approved 10 projects for disaster risk reduction at a cost of Rs4.9 billion, including a grant financing of Rs3.6bn.

A meeting of the board presided over by Finance Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch here on Monday was attended by Asian Deve­lo­pment Bank’s Country Dir­e­ctor Ms Xiaohong Yang, Additional Secretary Eco­n­o­mic Affairs Zulfiqar Hai­der Khan, Secretary Cli­mate Change Hassan Nasir Jamy and NDRMF’s Chief Executive Officer retired Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed.

An official statement said these projects will be implemented by the irrigation de­­partments of Punjab, Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan, the Provin­cial Disaster Management Authority, Sindh, the Com­m­­­unication and Works Dep­artment of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Rescue 1122 Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan Me­­­teorological Depart­m­e­­nt, Pakistan Poverty Alle­v­iation Fund and Muslim Aid Pakistan.

The projects include activities related to Flood Protection Works, Tsunami & Earthquake Early Warn­ing System, Landslide Cont­rol Management, Emerg­e­n­­cy Response Services, Weat­her Radar System, Drought Mitigation and Community-based Disaster Risk Management.

Rs4.9bn plans aim to protect vulnerable communities

The total cost of the appr­oved projects is estimated at Rs4.925bn out of which the NDRMF shall finance Rs3.606bn (73.23pc) through a grant whereas the remaining 26.77pc contribution, amounting to Rs1.318bn shall be made available by the respective government and non-government entities. The projects are anticipated to protect vulnerable communities while enhancing Pakistan’s resilience to natural and climatic hazards.

The fund has already approved about Rs2.5bn worth of disaster risk reduction schemes early this year, making total new projects launched this year to over Rs7.5bn.

Those projects are in early stages of implementation by the National Disas­ter Management Authority, Punjab Irrigation Depar­tm­ent, Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Islamic Relief Pak­is­tan and a joint venture of Aga Khan Foundation and Aga Khan Planning & Buil­ding Services. These projects also focused on disaster risk reduction and preparedness.

The NDRMF has been created with the support of international lending agencies with major support from the ADB to help authorities build resilient infrastructure for reducing socio-economic and fiscal vulnerability of the country and its population to natural hazards and climate change, through financing investments in disaster risk reduction and preparedness that have high economic impacts.