Pakistan's remote regions need to be brought at par with developed areas: Asim Bajwa

Published July 3, 2021
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority Chairman Asim Saleem Bajwa speaking to the media in Hoshab, Balochistan. — DawnNewsTV
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority Chairman Asim Saleem Bajwa speaking to the media in Hoshab, Balochistan. — DawnNewsTV

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority Chairman Asim Saleem Bajwa on Saturday said there was a need to bring the remotest regions of the country in line with developed areas as per the prime minister's vision.

Speaking to media persons in Hoshab, Balochistan, the CPEC chairman was providing updates on the progress of various development projects in the area. He said there was a special focus on implementation of the Rs600 billion package for development projects in southern Balochistan.

"I am seeing a revolution of development in the area. This [project] will complete CPEC's route and the western route which touches the remotest regions of Pakistan.

"As per the vision of the prime minister, all of the remote regions of the country need to be improved and brought up to the [level] of other developed areas," said Bajwa. He said the completion of the overall south Balochistan project would allow people to benefit from CPEC, Gwadar port and accessibility to Karachi would increase as well.

He additionally said there were plans for education, health, agriculture and modern farming in the area for which a share had been allocated in CPEC.

Addressing some particular areas, the CPEC chairman said a major priority of the prime minister was to connect CPEC and the Gwadar port with the country's north for which roads were being developed.

Citing examples, he said construction was under way on the Hoshab-Awaran road while the Basima-Khuzdar road project was 70 per cent complete and would be done by year-end.

He said roads and connectivity were among some of the biggest issues facing locals, along with electricity, water and livelihood. Bajwa lamented that ongoing schemes in Balochistan had a tendency to stretch on for too long but added that great priority had been attached now to include them in the south Balochistan development package and complete them.

"There are around 80 ongoing schemes but apart from that there are around 200 schemes in this entire [development] package," Bajwa said, adding that a network of roads would be laid "which is a dream of the people here".

The CPEC chairman said around 39pc of the development package had been set aside for communication infrastructure and connectivity. This included plans for expansion of the Turbat airport and installing internet and broadband services in the region, he added.

Addressing electricity provision to the region, he said the prime minister had approved the linking of the national grid with south Balochistan for which a grid station in Basima was being constructed which, according to him, would generate 150 megawatt of electricity.

"There's also a 3,000MW power project in Gwadar on which work has started."

Additionally, he said numerous projects for provision of clean drinking water were under way. For these, laying down pipelines, installation of desalination plants and construction of 31 dams in nine south Balochistan districts had begun, he said.

Bajwa also thanked the locals, security forces and law enforcement agencies in cooperating together to clear the area of terrorists and said a border fence was being erected as well with around 650 kilometres completed.

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