ISLAMABAD: 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 Scheme ‘Revival of Karachi Circular Railway’ and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government’s Peshawar Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Project.
These projects are part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The CDWP recommended Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) of the cabinet to approve seven 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 Rs.238 billion and Sindh Renewable Energy Development Project (SREDP) worth 122 million dollars. It also reviewed two position papers of ongoing project in education and water resources sector worth Rs.64 billion.
Transport and communication sector
Karachi Circular Railway
CDWP recommended four transport and communication mega projects worth Rs102 billion to Ecnec. It approved the revival of Karachi Circular Railway worth Rs.27.6 billion which was included in CPEC last year.
The project proposed by Sindh government envisages revival and construction of 43.2km double railway track with 24 stations and procurement of 162 locomotives. The project is estimated to cater to 550,000 passengers per day in the opening year with projected demand of 749,541 till 2030.
Federal minister Ahsan Iqbal advised the Sindh government to coordinate with Punjab to get benefits of its experiences in constructing the Orange Line Metro. “Cost of the project be rationalised and conditions of the foreign loans must be negotiated properly,” he instructed.
He also advised that the stations and other buildings to be constructed must match the historical architecture of Karachi to ensure beautification of the city.
Peshawar BRT Corridor
CDWP also approved the Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Project in Peshawar worth Rs.56.8 billion proposed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
The project will be constructed with Rs.48 billion loan from Asian Development Bank. It envisages construction of 25.8 km long road track, 32 stations with commercial buildings and other facilities. The project will be executed in twelve months and is expected to facilitate 472,000 people per day.
Ahsan Iqbal instructed the officials of the KP government to ensure constructions of station and other buildings with the historical architecture of Peshawar. He also advised to allot separate enclosures for women and prayer spaces on the stations.
He expressed satisfaction over desire of metropolitan cities to adopt mass transit system. He said that rail-based mass transit systems are being implemented in all the provincial capitals under CPEC. He instructed for formation of a joint forum where provincial governments could share its knowledge and experiences of developing urban transport system.
Karachi Neighborhood Improvement Project
CDWP also approved a World Bank financed Karachi Neighborhood Improvement Project (KNIP) worth Rs.10.5 billion for improvement of roads, parks, government buildings and citizen services.
The minister instructed officials to ensure urban management in Karachi and prepare a long term master plan in line with Pakistan’s Vision 2025, and a clear plan for repayment of loans.
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.
Energy, Environement and Water resources
In energy sector, CDWP approved 30 MW hydro power project Ghowari in Gilgit-Baltistan estimated at Rs 7.9 billion.
It approved six water resource projects worth Rs.6.6 billion including construction of three dams in Pashin and Lorlai areas of Balochistan, and recommended raising of Baran Dam worth Rs.5 billion to Ecnec.
Furthermore, it was approved to construct boundary wall of zoo-cum-botanical garden in Islamabad at cost of Rs.109 million on the directives of prime minister.
CDWP approved three projects worth Rs3.16 billion, including establishment of National Facility for Laboratory Animal Research and Care (NFLACR), enhancement of research facilities at University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS), Ravi Campus Pattoki, and schools and college curriculum development.
Food and Agriculture
The planning body approved a project to upgrade the 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 Rs500 million was approved by CDWP.
The ‘Prime Minister’s Youth Skill Development Programme’ (Phase-IV) 2017-18 was approved at estimated cost of Rs.6 billion.
The forum also reviewed position papers on the extension of Right Bank Outfall Drain (RBOD) from Sehwan to the sea at Gharo with estimated cost of Rs.61.6 billion.
Mr. Ahsan Iqbal instructed to expedite the project and instruct to follow the Council of Common Interest’s formula for flood protection projects wherein cost of such project is borne by the provincial and federal government.