KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Mega development schemes should be executed instead of small projects in different districts of southern Kandahar province under the National Solidarity Programme (NSP) -- a flagship uplift plan of the government. 
Provincial Council Chairman Haji Syed Jan Khakrezwal says he has raised the issue at meetings with NSP officials and village council members. He underlined the imperative of deriving maximum benefits from the important programme. 
Under the NSP, he suggested, massive development schemes be drawn up and executed at the village level for even-handed uplift of the province. For this to happen, he needs to meet village council members in each district on the nature of projects they urgently need.
Khakrezwal acknowledges NSP projects could not be properly implemented in many villages for security reasons. In this situation, he believes, the ideal way is to let the public and their representatives decide unanimously on what the most-needed projects were. 
The council chairman, insisting on transparency in the use of government funds, also stresses a close watch on NSP, saying village council members should be residents of those areas and aware of local development requirements.
He recently appointed a council delegation to monitor NSP schemes in Shorabak district. Along with the officials concerned, the team will shortly visit the district to inspect the quality of the projects implemented there recently.
Haji Niamatullah Sherdili, a provincial council member, proposed reforms in village councils to prevent the possible misappropriation of funds and make them responsive to public needs. After the inspection of projects in different districts, the provincial council suspended the bodies that failed to perform efficiently.
Ahmad Wali Azizi, NSP head for central and southern zones, visited Kandahar some days back. At meetings with provincial officials, he accused local strongmen and authorities of interfering in NSP affairs and stealing development funds.
Azizi asked the governor to check corruption in the use of NSP funds and constitute development councils -- familiar with local development requirements -- to ensure the implementation of projects in line with people’s needs.
He agreed massive reconstruction projects could be executed under NSP if some development councils of a district unanimously decided to spend their funds on an important scheme benefitting a large number of people.
Earlier, Mianishin district residents demanded the execution of huge projects within the NSP framework in the town. They claimed reconstructions schemes could not be implemented in the district due to insecurity and instead the NSP allocation for them be spent on building the main road.
Mianishin tribal elders and development council members say the 70-kilometre road linking the district with the provincial capital, is unpaved. As a result, they complain, residents encounter problems while travelling between Kandahar City and Mianishin.
Officials at the Ministry of Rural Development and Rehabilitation and NSP an amount of $265 million has been earmarked for Afghanistan’s reconstruction under the programme. They say $5 million of funds will be spent in Kandahar.