Rail based mass transit systems are being implemented in all the provincial headquarters under CPEC: Ahsan Iqbal
ISLAMABAD, May 03, 2017: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP), chaired by Minister for Planning, Development & Reform and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Ahsan Iqbal, Wednesday approved development projects worth 130 billion including a CPEC initiative ‘Revival of Karachi Circular Railway’.
CDWP recommended ECNEC to consider approval of 7 mega projects in Energy, Transport Communication, Water Resources and Manpower Sectors.
The CDWP also accorded concept clearance to two projects including construction of Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway (M6) worth 238 billion rupees and Sindh Renewable Energy Development Project (SREDP) worth 122 million dollar.
CDWP also reviewed two position papers of ongoing project in education and water resources sector worth 64 billion.
Transport and Communication
In transport and communication sector, CDWP recommended 04 megaprojects of worth 102 billion to ECNEC.
The forum approved Revival of Karachi Circular Railway worth 27.6 billion, a project included in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor framework during 6th JCC in Beijing, China last year. The project proposed by Sindh Government, envisages revival and construction of 43.2 km double railway track with 24 stations and procurement of 162 locomotos. The project ridership is estimated at 5, 50000 passengers per day in the opening year with projected demand of 749, 541 till 2030.
On the occasion, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal advised the Sindh Government to coordinate with Government of Punjab, in order to get benefits of its experiences in constructing Orange Line Metro.
“Cost of the project be rationalized and conditions of the foreign loans must be negotiated properly” Minister instructed. He also advised that the stations and other building to be constructed under this mega project must match the historical architecture of Karachi to ensure beautification of this port city.
Minister further expressed satisfaction over Pakistan’s metropolitan cities desire for adopting mass transit system. He highlighted that rail based mass transit systems are being implemented in all the provincial headquarters under CPEC.
He instructed for formation of a joint forum where provincial governments could share its knowledge and experiences of developing urban transport system.
CDWP also approved a 56.8 billion Peshawar Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Project of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government. The project, planned to be constructed with 48 billion loan of Asian Development Bank, envisages construction of 25.8 km long road track, 32 stations with commercial building and other allied facilities. The project planned to be executed in 12 months is expected to facilitate 4, 72 000 people per day in initial phase.
Minister Ahsan Iqbal instructed the officials of the provincial government to ensure constructions of station and other building, aligned with the historical architecture of Peshawar. He also advised to allot separate enclosures for women and prayer spaces on the stations.
CDWP also approved a world bank financed Karachi Neighborhood Improvement Project (KNIP) worth 10.5 billion. The project proposed by Sindh Government envisages improvement of roads, parks, government buildings and citizen services in the commercial hub of Pakistan.
Minister PD&R, Ahsan Iqbal instructed the provincial government officials to ensure urban management in Karachi and prepare a long term city master plan in line with Pakistan’s Vision 2025. He also said that the provincial government must prepare a clear plan for repayment of loans availed for KNIP.
The Planning body also approved the 7 billion project of construction of 4 –Lane Bridge across River Indus connecting Kallur Kot Bhakkar with Dhakki area of Dera Ismail Khan. Ahsan Iqbal instructed that the 14 km approach road to the bridge would be constructed by the Government of Punjb.
In energy sector, CDWP approved 30 MW Hydro Power Project Ghowari in Gilgat Biltistan with estimated cost of 7.9 billion.
CDWP approved 6 projects worth 6.6 billion in water resource sector. The projects include construction of three dams in Pashin and Lorlai areas of Balochistan. This forum also recommended Raising of Baran Dam Project worth 5 billion to Ecnec.
CDWP also approved a project in Manpower sector, titled ‘Prime Minister’s Youth Skill Development Programme (Phase-IV) 2017-18’ with estimated cost of 6 billion.
In this sector, CDWP approved Construction of Boundary wall of Zoo – Cum – Botanical Garden, Islamabad with a cost of 109 million. Ahsan instructed to implement the project inline of Prime Minister Directives.
CDWP approved three projects in education sector worth 3.16 billion, including Establishment of National Facility for Laboratory Animal Research and Care (NFLACR) at PCMD, Enhancement of the Research Facilities at University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS), Ravi Campus Pattoki (Revised) and Schools and College Curriculum Development.
Food and Agriculture
In agriculture sector, this planning body has approved a project of Strengthening/Up-gradation of Agriculture and Livestock Research System of Arid Zone Research Institute, Umerkot – Sindh with estimated cost of 643 million.
The project of Mainstreaming Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS) for Balochistan Sustainable Development Goals, worth 500 million was approved by CDWP.
The forum also reviewed two position papers in education and water resources sectors. It includes Extension of Right Bank Outfall Drain from Sehwan to Sea at Gharo (RBOD-II) (2nd Revised with estimated cost of 61.6 billion. Minister Ahsan Iqbal instructed to speed work on this project in order to avoid any further delay. He also instructed to follow the Council of Common Interest’s formula for flood protection projects wherein cost of such project would be borne by the provincial and federal government with 50/50 share.