Pakistan on Monday proposed the inclusion of Chitral to Chakdara Highway (N-45) connecting Swat Motorway as part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) western route.
The 8th meeting of CPEC Joint Working Group on Transport Infrastructure was held via video link at the Ministry of Communications here on Monday. Besides Federal Secretary Communications Zafar Hasan, Vice Minister of China on Transport DAI Dongchang, Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation China Shan Hongjun and Chairman National Highway Authority Capt. (R) Sikander Qayyum also participated.
The representatives of Foreign office, CPEC Authority, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Sindh Government, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan Government and Civil Aviation Authority were also present.
After deliberations, the meeting adopted the construction of a motorway from Peshawar to D.I. Khan (320KM), Swat Expressway from Chakdara to Fatehpur Phase-II (182KM) and Dir Expressway (30KM).
Pakistan side gave briefing on ML-1 project, Karachi Circular Railway, Peshawar Circular Railway and Quetta Mass Transit Project. Chitral-Shandoor-Gilgit, Nokundi-Mashkhel-Panjgur and Mirpur-Muzaffarabad-Mansehra projects were also brought under discussion.
Secretary Communications Zafar Hasan said CPEC is the vision of the leadership of both the neighboring countries. He proposed the inclusion of Chitral to Chakdara Highway (N-45) connecting Swat Motorway (Chakdara to Col. Sher Khan Interchange on Motorway M-1) as part of CPEC Western Route.
He said the government of Pakistan is planning for the remaining sections of Gwadar-Ratodero Motorway M-8. He desired study of those parts of Karakoram Highway which are affected by the landslides so that remedial measures could be devised to ensure smooth flow of traffic. Terming the meeting meaningful, he hoped that the meeting will remain successful and achieve its objectives.
Addressing the meeting, Chinese vice Minister on Transport DAI Dongchang said, the friendship of China & Pakistan is higher than the mountains and it is being strengthened and deepened with the passage of time. He said cooperation in the construction sector is gradually expanding between the two countries, which will accelerate the pace of development in Pakistan.
He desired to realize CPEC schemes with quality construction through mutual cooperation. Besides challenges, both countries are cooperating with each other. He termed video link meeting result oriented. He appreciated the progress and commitment of Pakistan on CPEC projects. He said China wants to enhance the scope of CPEC by including a few more projects.
Chairman National Highway Authority Capt. (R) Sikander Qayyum told the meeting that Sukkur-Multan Motorway and Havelian-Thakot Motorway projects are completed in the record time frame with quality construction.
He said 136 KM long Thakot-Raikot section of Karakoram Highway is an important link and that TOR has been approved for hiring consultants for re-alignment. He stressed the need for an up-gradation of 210 km D.I.Khan-Zhob Section on priority.