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CDWP cleared total 16 development projects

04 May, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Wednesday cleared a total of 16 development projects with an estimated cost of Rs130 billion, including two mass transit projects for Karachi and Peshawar.

The two projects are part of the China-Pakistan Eco­nomic Corridor (CPEC) and expected to be formally approved by the two nations on the sidelines of upcoming One Belt, One Road conference in China by mid-month.

The government has already granted a series of tax exemptions for mass transit projects.

The CWDP meeting, presided over by Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal, forwarded seven mega projects to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) for approval. The projects related to energy, transport and communication, water resources and manpower sectors.

The CDWP also approved concept clearance papers of two projects, including construction of Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway (M6) worth Rs238bn and Sindh Renewable Energy Development Project (SREDP) $122 million. It also re­­viewed two position papers of ongoing project in education and water resources sector worth Rs64bn.

In the transport and communication sector, the meeting recommended four major projects with a total cost of Rs102bn to Ecnec for approval because of limited financial powers of the CDWP. The CDWP can only approve projects having maximum cost of Rs3bn and is required to refer projects of higher cost to Ecnec after clearing them on technical grounds.

The meeting approved the revival of Karachi Circular Railway at a cost of Rs27.6bn. The project proposed by the Sindh government envisaged revival and construction of 43.2km double railway track with 24 stations and procurement of 162 locomotives.

The project rider-ship is estimated at 550,000 passengers per day in the opening year with projected demand of 749, 541 till 2030.

The provincial government was also asked to rationalise the project cost and ensure that the stations and other buildings to be constructed under the project matched the historical architecture of Karachi.

The meeting also app­roved Rs56.8bn for Pesha­war Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Project of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. The project, plan­ned to be constructed with Rs48bn loan from the ADB, envisaged construction of 25.8km-long road track, 32 stations with commercial buildings and other allied facilities.

The project, planned to be executed in 12 months, is expected to facilitate 472,000 people per day in its initial phase. The provincial government was directed to ensure constructions of station and other building in line with historical architecture of Peshawar and allot separate enclosures for women.

The CDWP also approved a World Bank-financed Kara­­­chi Neighbourhood Improve­ment Project (KNIP) worth Rs10.5bn. The project proposed by the Sindh government envisaged improvement of roads, parks, government buildings and citizen services in the commercial hub of Pakistan. The provincial government was directed to prepare a clear plan for repayment of loans obtained for KNIP.

The meeting also app­roved Rs7bn project of construction of four-lane bridge across River Indus connecting Kallur Kot Bhakkar with Dhakki area of Dera Ismail Khan.

In the energy sector, CDWP approved 30-megwatt Hydro Power Project in Ghowari in Gilgat Baltistan with estimated cost of Rs7.9bn. The meeting also approved six projects worth Rs6.6bn relating to water resources. The projects include construction of three dams in Pashin and Loralai areas of Balochistan and recommended to Ecnec a Rs5bn project for raising of Baran Dam Project in Balochistan.

The CDWP also approved Prime Minister’s Youth Skill Development Prog­ram­­me (Phase-IV) 2017-18 with an estimated cost of Rs6bn.

In the environment sector, the meeting approved construction of boundary wall of zoo-cum-botanical garden in Islamabad with a cost of Rs109 million.

The meeting also app­roved three projects in the education sector worth Rs3.16bn, including establishment of national facility for Lab­o­ra­tory Animal Re­­search and Care, enhancement of the research facilities at Uni­ver­sity of Vete­rinary and Animal Sciences, Ravi Campus Pat­toki (re­­vised) and schools and college curriculum development.

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