ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Thursday approved two development projects for Balochistan with a total cost of about Rs96 billion.
The Ecnec meeting presided over by Finance Miniter Asad Umar also cleared a proposal of the Ministry of Communications for introduction of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) and allow construction of service areas by the private sector along the Western Corridor of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The Planning Division gave a presentation about the dualisation of Western Alignment of CPEC — Kuchlak-Zhob section N-50 (305km). The committee was briefed about the importance of the Western Corridor which would significantly benefit the people of Zhob, Kuchlak, Muslim Bagh, Pashin as well as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and also facilitate Pak-Afghan trade.
The meeting approved Rs11bn land acquisition cost of the project that would be met from the savings of Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and no new allocation would be required in this regard. As such, the total project cost was approved at Rs79bn. This would include construction and dualisation of road, Kuchlaq-Zhob Section of N-50’ at a cost of Rs67.638bn.
The committee accorded approval to the proposal of Power Division to interconnect isolated areas of Gwadar and Makran with the national grid system of Pakistan. The committee directed the planning and power divisions to review the proposed financial structure of the project. The Power Division had proposed a cost of Rs17.42bn.
The meeting was informed that it was an important project for Gwadar’s development, connecting the southern remote region with the national grid. Since unavailability of electricity is one of the major hindrances in development of Gwadar, the interconnection facility would help Gwadar development. The project is expected to be completed in three years by the Quetta Electric Supply Company.
Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2019