More than 120,000 families benefit from the completion of around 300 welfare schemes in northern Takhar province, but locals complained some projects were not executed up to their expectations.
The projects included gravelling of 180 kilometres of rural roads, construction of 88 small bridges, 285 water wells and centres for local development councils, the rural development director said.
Eng. Raz Mohammad Faiz told Pajhwok Afghan News that the projects also included a water supply system, tailoring, embroidery and carpet-weaving courses, protective walls and small water dams.
The projected, he said, were implemented over the past 10 months in Rustaq, Bangi, Ishkamish, Namak Aab, Farkhar, Warsaj, Kalafgan, Baharak, Khwaja Ghar and Taloqan.
Funded by his department, the schemes were implemented under the National Solidarity Programme (NSP) -- the government’s flagship development initiative -- at a cost of over $ 6 million, with 10 percent contribution from area people.
Mohammad Hassan, a resident of Khatayan area, acknowledged the projects had benefited the locals. “Earlier, we had no access to potable water and faced severe problems but the NSP helped build bridges, roads, dams and other facilities.”
But Nazarullah, belonging to the Galbras area of Taloqan, alleged: “Some of the projects, soon after their completion, were damaged because of the use of poor and substandard material.”
He claimed members of local development councils did not receive salaries and other privileges from the government. As a result, they tried to save money for themselves, he added.
Implementation of the projects in rural areas over the past 12 years had brought positive changes to people’s lives but the authorities concerned should monitor the process thoroughly, he suggested.
But the rural development director dismissed the allegations as unsubstantiated, saying the employees always monitored the projects.