The Planning Commission has announced a new project for the development of Gwadar as an integrated ‘smart port city’.
The plan will mainly focus on employing IT solutions in order to enhance economic productivity and quality of life of the citizens. It will also promote minimum consumption of resources and contribute in minimizing pollution.
Due to the relation of the port in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, the Planning Commission suggests updating the existing plan in order to incorporate the new ideas.
The current plan of the Gwadar city was last updated in 2005. The plan suggests that there are two interdependent elements: the port and the city of Gwadar. Both of them should be focused in order to achieve the milestone.
A few setbacks are contributing to retard the development of the port for the past few years. These include:
- Shortage of resources
- Non-fulfilment of concession agreements.
- Limited commercial activities in the city.
The concession of the master plan has been given to a Chinese operator which is responsible for updating it. Under the new plan, the port and the city will be considered as separate entities.
The plan will aim to work for the strategic development of Makran coast in general and Gwadar region in particular.
It will also help to facilitate:
- Community participation
- Public-private partnerships
- Industrial and economic development.
Under the plans for the corridor, it is envisioned that the port will be declared a ‘free’ port to facilitate trans-shipment, and the city would be declared an SZE in order to promote trade and investment.