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24 development projects worth Rs184.8bn approved

Updated February 13, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: The Central Develo­pment Working Party (CDWP) on Monday cleared a total of 24 development projects at an estimated cost of around Rs200 billion. The approved projects also include two roads at a cost of Rs16.3bn in the constituency of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

The CDWP meeting was presided over by the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz.

Of all the projects, 10 larger projects worth Rs169bn were referred to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) for formal approval. Twelve smaller development projects worth Rs20bn were approved by the CDWP. The concept papers of two other projects involving Rs10bn estimated cost were also cleared by the CDWP.

Under financial rules, the CDWP has the powers to approve development projects of cost not exceeding Rs3bn. For projects of higher cost estimates, the party can only scrutinise their parameters and recommend Ecnec to approve their cost.

In the transport and communication sector, the meeting cleared a total of 15 projects involving an estimated cost of Rs78bn. Of these, two road projects worth Rs16.3bn for PM Abbasi’s constituency were inducted into the agenda at the last moment and cleared by the meeting. These include a Rs11bn project for dualisation of about 40km-long Rawalpindi-Kahuta Road and Rs5.3bn for land acquisition of the same project. Construction of 19km-long Northern Bypass of Dera Ghazi Khan, worth Rs5.56bn, was also included in the agenda at the last moment and cleared.

Of all the 15 projects in the transport and communication sector, six were referred to the Ecnec for approval.

The projects included up gradation and renovation of railway stations at Bahawalpur, Raiwaind, Gujranwala, Karachi, Peshawar, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Lahore and Rawalpindi, with a total cost of Rs1.46bn, replacement of old and obsolete signal gear from Lodhran-Multan-Khanewal-Shahdara-Bagh Main Line Section of Pakistan Railways at Rs18.6bn and improvement and widening of Chitral-Booni-Mastuj-Shandur Road at a cost of Rs19.1bn. The projects also include construction and rehabilitation of four bridges at Muzhgole, Osaik, Pokel and Churan, along with an approach road and allied components at a cost of Rs544.6m.

Ziarat Mor-Kach-Harnai Road and Harnai Sanjavi Road were approved at a cost of Rs10.8bn.

A six lane overhead bridge at Imamia Colony Railway Crossing, Shahdara was approved at Rs2.1bn. Purchase of road clearance/earth moving machinery for prompt emergency response in AJK at a cost of Rs500m was also okayed in the meeting.

The committee also approved extension and up gradation of Bannu Airport for A-320/B-737 aircraft operations at a cost of Rs715m. Improvement of security at Karachi, Multan and Islamabad airports at a total cost of Rs2.2bn was also approved.

In the energy sector, the CDWP cleared technicalities of a project for evacuation of power from Suki Kinari, Kohala and Mahl Hydro Power Project in Azad Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, having a total estimated cost of Rs73.6bn and requested the Ecnec for its formal approval.

The main objective of this energy project is the construction of 500kV transmission network to provide interconnection facilities for evacuation of power from these hydropower plants.

In the physical planning and housing, the CDWP approved construction of a model custom house at Gwadar at a cost of Rs1.5bn, instead of Rs2.5bn proposed by the project sponsors.

In the water resource sector, a feasibility study, detailed engineering design and preparation of tender documents of Murunj Dam Project were approved with a cost of Rs371.7m.

Darawat Dam Project was also recommended to Ecnec for approval at total cost of Rs11.8bn.

In addition, CDWP also approved two mass media projects including installation of 100kW Medium Wave Digital Transmitter at Mirpur, AJK, for countering cross-border propaganda, at a cost of Rs143.8m, and rehabilitation of medium wave services for Muzaffarabad Radio Station, AJK, at a cost of Rs160.6m.

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2018