ISLAMABAD: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Tuesday cleared a total of six development projects including two mega schemes for Karachi’s urban mobility having a cumulative estimated cost of Rs216.5 billion.
The meeting of the CDWP, presided over by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan, approved two projects worth Rs3.33bn and recommended four projects worth Rs213.20bn to Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) for possible approval.
Projects relating to information technology, health, governance, physical planning and housing and transport and Communications.
Under the current financial rules, the CDWP can itself approve projects costing no more than Rs3bn while the projects of higher estimated costs are approved by Ecnec once the CDWP clears them on technical grounds.
Clears two mega transport schemes for Karachi
Two projects relating to health sector were presented in the meeting. First project Sehat Sahulat Programme, the new name of PM’s National Health Programme (Phase 2) worth Rs31.935bn was presented which was referred to Ecnec for approval.
The CDWP approved the second project of health presented by Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination for “Establishment of Safe Blood Transfusion service in Islamabad Capital Territory” worth Rs102.857 million.
Three projects related to transport and communications were presented in the meeting. The first project was “Construction of Peshawar Torkham Motorway project as part of Khyber Pass Economic Corridor Project of worth Rs41.440bn was recommended to Ecnec after cost rationalisation from Rs49.789bn. The project is being pushed by the World Bank under its $500m loan programme.
The second project Construction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Red Line Project worth Rs78.384bn was also recommended to Ecnec for approval. The original project was estimated at a cost of Rs65.59bn but the Sindh government had sought its revised cost estimates that were more than Rs90bn due to exchange rate losses. The project was, nevertheless, approved at a revised cost of Rs78.38bn after technical level engagements between the federal and provincial governments.
The Asian Development Bank has recently approved a $235m loan for the project to deliver a 26.6-kilometre fast-track transport corridor and associated facilities, benefiting around 1.5 million people (about 10pc of Karachi’s population) who live within one-kilometre radius of each Red Line station.
Targeted for completion in 2021, the project will have 29km corridors including a 2.4km common corridor to connect Municipal Park to Merewether Tower and a dedicated 26.6km corridor from Numaish Chowrangi to Malir Halt and Model Colony via University Road. More than 300,000 passengers per day are expected to travel on the Red Line routes.
The CDWP also cleared Karachi Urban Mobility Project (Yellow BRT Corridor) with revised cost estimates of Rs61.436bn and referred it to Ecnec for approval.
The CDWP also raised certain technical observations over the project and requested Ecnec for further debate between the federal and provincial governments.
The Sindh government had proposed the Karachi Urban Mobility Project (Yellow Line Bus Rapid Transit) worth Rs65.968bn but the CDWP rationalised its cost estimates down to Rs61.4bn.
The meeting also took up a project related to Physical Planning and Housing sector and approved construction of AJK Legislative Assembly Complex with an estimated cost of Rs2.854bn.
Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2019