The Central Development Working Party (CDWP), chaired by Minister for Planning, Development & Reform and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Ahsan Iqbal approved development projects worth Rs 130 billion including a CPEC Scheme ‘Revival of Karachi Circular Railway’ and a Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government’s Peshawar Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Project.
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 dollars.
CDWP also reviewed two position papers of ongoing projects in education and water resources sector worth Rs. 64 billion.
Transport and Communication Sector
In transport and communication sector, CDWP recommended 04 megaprojects 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 during the last year.
The project, proposed by Sindh Government, envisages the revival and construction of 43.2 km double railway track with 24 stations and procurement of 162 locomotives. The project is estimated to serve at least 5,50,000 passengers per day in the opening year with a projected demand of 7,49, 541 till 2030.
On the occasion, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal advised the Sindh Government to coordinate with Punjab, in order to get benefits of its experiences in constructing the Orange Line Metro.
“Cost of the project be rationalized and conditions of the foreign loans must be negotiated properly” the Planning Minister instructed. He also advised that the stations and other buildings under this mega project must match the historical architecture of Karachi in order to ensure beautification of the port city۔
Peshawar Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Project
CDWP also approved Rs. 56.8 billion for the Peshawar Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Project of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government. The project, planned to be constructed with a Rs. 48 billion loan from 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 and 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 that the construction work is aligned with the historical architecture of Peshawar. He also advised to make separate enclosures for women and prayer spaces on the stations.
The Minister expressed satisfaction over the Pakistani metropolitan cities desire for adopting a mass transit system. He highlighted that rail based mass transit systems are being implemented in all the provincial headquarters under CPEC.
He called for the formation of a joint forum where provincial governments could share its knowledge and experiences of developing urban transport systems.
CDWP also approved a World Bank loan for the Karachi Neighborhood Improvement Project (KNIP) worth Rs. 10.5 billion. The project proposed by Sindh Government envisages the 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 Punjab.
In the energy sector, CDWP approved 30 MW Hydro Power Project Ghowari in Gilgat Biltistan with an estimated cost of Rs. 7.9 billion.
CDWP approved 6 projects worth Rs. 6.6 billion in the 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 Rs. 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 Rs. 6 billion.
In this sector, CDWP approved the construction of a boundary wall for the Zoo –cum–Botanical Garden, Islamabad with a cost of Rs. 109 million.
CDWP approved three projects in education sector worth Rs. 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, the planning body approved a project for Strengthening/Up-gradation of Agriculture and Livestock Research System of Arid Zone Research Institute, Umerkot – Sindh with estimated cost of Rs. 643 million.
The project of Mainstreaming Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS) for Balochistan Sustainable Development Goals, worth Rs. 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), with an estimated and revised cost of Rs. 61.6 billion. Ahsan Iqbal instructed to speed work on this project in order to avoid any further delays. 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.