The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) has approved several projects, including construction of the 21-km long, 47.55 km Peshawar-Torkham Motorway Project and interlinking of 220 kV Daharki, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur and Chishtian Grid Stations for improvement of the power supply system in southern areas.
The meeting was presided by Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who approved a new mechanism under public finance management for simplification of releasing funds for development projects.
Yellow Bus Rapid Transit-BRT Corridor
ECNEC approved the construction of the Karachi Urban Mobility Project (Yellow Bus Rapid Transit-BRT Corridor), which will be executed by the Sindh government at a cost of Rs. 61.439 billion.
The project, mainly funded by the World Bank, will cover a distance of 21 km, starting from Korangi Industrial Road and passing through KPT Interchange, FTC Interchange, Shahrah-e-Faisal, Shahrah-e-Quaideen till Kashmir Road, where it will be integrated with the Red BRT Corridor.
The project will have 28 stations and 268 buses and will facilitate 300,000 passengers every day.
The meeting also approved the formation of a coordination committee between the federal government and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for overview and fiscal discipline to ensure the construction of Peshawar-Torkham Motorway.
Khyber Pass Economic Corridor
The first component-1 of the Khyber Pass Economic Corridor was approved at a rationalized cost of Rs. 36.705 billion ($231.10 million) with the World Bank contributing Rs. 34.503 billion ($217.24 million) based on the preliminary design.
The final cost of the project will be available after the receipt of bids on a Design-Build-Operate basis, for which the Planning Commission will develop guidelines/standard operating procedures as well as other innovative mechanisms.
Economic Development & Uplift of Areas Near the Motorway
The meeting also approved component-II “Economic Development & Uplift of Areas Adjoining the Motorway”. The framework agreement to facilitate preparation and feasibilities through the World Bank will have a total cost of Rs. 8.357 billion.
The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will submit PC-1 under the component-II after the feasibility and detailed design.
Interlinking of Grid Stations
Moreover, ECNEC approved a project for Interlinking of 220 kV Daharki, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur and Chishtian Grid Stations for improvement of the power supply system in southern areas at an updated cost of Rs 15.795 billion. It will include a Foreign Exchange Component of Rs. 9.800 billion to provide reliable and uninterrupted power to consumers.
The project will improve the reliability and uninterrupted power supply to HESCO and MEPCO areas, while the interlinking of RY Khan grid station to Daharki through 220kV transmission line would provide a backup link between Multan, Guddu and Shikarpur.
The proposed line from RY Khan to Bahawalpur and in/out of Vehari-Chishtian 220kV single circuit transmission line would provide an additional supply to 220kV Bahawalpur and Chishtian grid stations.
Expressway on East Bay of Gwadar Port
Among other projects, ECNEC approved the construction of a four-lane 18.98 km (with embankment for 6 lanes) Expressway on East Bay of Gwadar Port at a cost of Rs. 17.369 billion. It will have a foreign exchange component of Rs. 16.435 billion to link Gwadar Port with the Makran Coastal Highway as well as Gwadar Free Zone and future container terminals.
The project will have one interchange and four bridges, four pedestrian overhead bridges along with cross-drainage structures and allied works.
ECNEC also accorded approval to Dasu Hydropower Project (Stage-1); Revision of Cost for Land Acquisition and Built-up Property at a total cost of Rs. 510.980 billion, including Rs 36.914 billion for land cost.
The committee directed the Planning, Development & Reform Division to issue authorization of the revised cost of land acquisition and built-up property of Dasu Hydropower Project (Stage-1) as recommended by CDWP and subsequently by ECNEC.
Lahore Water and Wastewater Management Project-Construction of Surface Water Treatment Plant
One of the approved projects is the Lahore Water and Wastewater Management Project-Construction of Surface Water Treatment Plant at BRDB Canal Lahore at a cost of Rs. 21.045 billion with a foreign exchange component of Rs. 19.684 billion.
It aims to provide an adequate quantity of safe drinking water to the target areas of Shadipura, Baghbanpura, Fatehgarh and Mustafabad in Lahore through a unified water supply network.
In similar decisions, the ECNEC also granted ex-post facto approval to the development of Phase-1 of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on EPE/Turnkey mode as well as a proposal by the Planning Commission for simplification of development funds release process. This includes the release of project-wise funds (Rupee component) allocated in PSDP to the ongoing approved projects of Ministries/Divisions during the first week of each quarter, as per criteria of the Finance Division (20% in 1st & 2nd Quarter and 30% in 3rd and 4th Quarter) without originating demand by the PAO.