With the promise of better prospects, progress on the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the country continues to move at a brisk pace.
At present, three road projects worth Rs 917 bn are underway to extend the corridor. But now, Beijing has signaled that it plans to finance the construction for three more road projects as part of the CPEC. The new projects will take the number of the amount invested in road projects up to Rs. 1.025 trillion.
China’s commitment to CPEC has given a tremendous boost to the project and this soft loan of Rs. 107.76 will allow the road project to stretch to the western front of the corridor. This plan will comprise of:
- a 280-kilometre road from Raikot to Thakot at a cost of Rs8bn,
- 210 km dual carriageway from Yarik to Zhob (Rs80bn),
- 110 km road from Basima to Khuzdar (Rs19.76bn).
Beijing will host this agreement as the bond between the two countries will be signed in the upcoming China-Pakistan Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting to be held on Dec 29. State representatives including Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, NHA chairman Shahid Ashraf Tarar and other senior government officials will be present in the meeting. The two countries will review the progress so far into the project and draft out a final plan for the new roads. Moreover, they will also discuss the prospects of adding industrial zones to CPEC’s Gwadar line.
Just last month, the chief of NHA along with secretary communications met and convinced Chinese officials to extend funds for the second phase of CPEC where they will be utilized to repair the remaining Raikot-Thakot road, damaged by floods in 2010. Simultaneously, the Yarik-Zhob dual carriageway and the Basima-Khuzdar road will each receive a grant of Rs80bn and Rs19.76bn once a feasibility study is prepared by the National Engineering Services of Pakistan.
A second meeting with the Chinese embassy officials will be chaired by the Minister for Planning & Development this week.
The steady progress and development of the road projects under CPEC will allow underprivileged areas of Pakistan better chances at growth and prosperity. In this regard, the western route holds considerable importance as it will open multiple avenues for the deprived people of Balochistan and improve their livelihood.
Via: Dawn News