ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar (centre) witnesses the signing ceremony of the agreement on Thursday.—APP
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar (centre) witnesses the signing ceremony of the agreement on Thursday.—APP

ISLAMABAD: China will provide $100 million as grant assistance for rehabilitation of four sections of N5 National Highway between Hala and Moro in Sindh, which will lead to an improvement in road infrastructure and augmentation in north-south connectivity.

An agreement to this effect was signed here on Thursday during a meeting between Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong and federal Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar. Bilateral economic relations and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects were discussed during the meeting.

The ‘Letter of Exchange’ provides for the rehabilitation of 66km four sections of the highway between Hala in Matiari district and Moro in Naushahro Feroze district Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Rong said that N5 was an important road that extended from the southern part of the country to the north-western border in Pakistan and carried a large amount of traffic. Unfortunately, this road was seriously damaged by the flood in 2010.

At the request of the Pakistani government, the Chinese government helped repair parts of N5 and N55 during 2011 and 2016. With joint efforts by the Pakistani and Chinese workers, the rehabilitation work was completed at the end of 2016, and it greatly improved the road conditions of the relevant sections.

Considering the importance of the N5 highway, the Chinese government agreed to rehabilitate the remaining 66km of the road with Chinese grant in accordance with the previous bilateral agreement.

Agreement signed for rehabilitation of highway between Hala & Moro

Ambassador Rong said that rehabilitation of the N5 highway was the largest road project funded by the Chinese grant in recent years in Pakistan. The implementation of the project will further increase traffic capacity and facilitate people’s travel along the route.

The construction of the project will also create considerable employment and promote related building material and transportation sectors along the route.

The diplomat said the Chinese embassy would work closely with the economic affairs division and other relevant departments to ensure that the project started at the earliest.

Mr Bakhtyar lauded the grant assistance extended by the Chinese government for various infrastructure and socio-economic projects in Pakistan. He also appreciated the significant work of joint working groups on socio-economic development and transport infrastructure under the CPEC.

He highlighted that the socio-economic projects agreed therein were in line with the vision of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government for socio-economic uplift of the people and enhanced economic activities in the country.

Both sides also discussed the progress of ongoing projects financed by the government of China.

Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2021

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