Disputed town in Salahaddin granted $17m09/06/2012 09:39
SALAHADDIN, June 9 (AKnews)- The territorially disputed Tuz Khurmatu town in Salahaddin province has been allocated a total of 20b IQD (almost $17.211m) by both Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad, an official said.
A few days ago the KRG assured the administration in Tuz Khurmatu (80km south of Kirkuk) that it has been allocated some 7b IQD from 2012 budget, said Tuz Khurmatu Mayor Shalal Gado.
Kurdistan Parliament is yet to ratify 2012 budget bill.
Gado continued the Iraqi government has already allocated some 13b IQD to the town from 2012 budget.
"This budget will be exploited in the best way to serve the town," Gado said "Important and practical projects have and will enter the execution phase."
He named some of the projects which have been lunched with the fund, the cultural palace, a number of schools and sports centers for children, a court, the building of the local council, pavement projects and projects for improving electricity sector.
According to the official from 2003 to 2006 the administration in Suli allocated a semi-systematic fund of $5m to Tuz Khurmatu "but later it diminished.
"Since 2010 we were not allocated any big funds [by Kurdistan] except funds for some small projects allocated by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani."
Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan ruled for a while in the separate administration of Suli before it joined forces with Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) for creation of a coalition government in Erbil.
The multiethnic Tuz Khurmatu, with a population census of 180,000 individuals, was under the administrative reign of Kirkuk province. But during Saddam Hussein's regime it was annexed to Salahaddin province.
The town, along with many other districts, is one of the areas whose ownership is disputed by KRG and Baghdad.
By Othman ShalshLL/AKnews