Ecnec okays Rs190bn road infrastructure projects

Published November 25, 2021
The Gwadar-Panjgur Highway, also known as M8. — White Star/File
The Gwadar-Panjgur Highway, also known as M8. — White Star/File

ISLAMABAD: The Exe­cutive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Wednesday approved Rs190.215 billion worth of projects related to road infrastructure and acquisition of self-reliance in satellite technologies in Pakistan.

A meeting of Ecnec, chai­red by Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar and attended by Minister for Industries Khusro Bakhtiar and federal secretaries, approved the Pakistan Optical Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-02) project of Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) worth Rs27.913bn.

The project will help in building of an indigenous capacity in the fields of space/satellite technology and its applications, institutional capacity building of Suparco and promoting high-tech research and development activities in the country. This project will contribute to acquisition of self-reliance in satellite technologies in Pakistan.

Ecnec approved the Sialkot (Sambrial)-Kharian motorway project submitted by the Ministry of Communication, along with directives for the National Highway Authority (NHA) to present a progress report on development of business model to Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet. The project envisages construction of 69km long, four-lane wide Sambrial- Kharian motorway with structures to be constructed for six lanes.

An official announcement said the meeting gave approval to the New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) second revised project. The revised project envisages construction of NGIA along with allied facilities over a piece of land already acquired. The NGIA will replace the existing airport at Gwadar which has small terminal building with limited capacity. The new airport will be suitable for bigger aircraft like Airbus A-380 and Boeing-747 & 777 for international and domestic services.

Ecnec also approved a project of the Ministry of Energy on the Asian Development Bank-funded Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) in Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco), with a directive for starting the project without any delay as a pilot project and including other electric supplying companies.

The project envisages enhancing load control and loading management up to the interface of the electricity distribution system operated by distribution companies (Discos). The AMI project is designed as the least-cost solution to reduce losses and efficiently balancing supply in the specific areas of Iesco.

The meeting also approved a position paper for amendments in the Ecnec’s 2004 decision and for approval of self-finance development schemes of distribution companies/entities, submitted by the Ministry of Energy.

The meeting approved Rs16.695bn for remodelling of the Warsak canal system in Peshawar and Nowshera districts. The second revised PC-1 was considered on a 50:50 cost sharing basis between the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments. Any variation in the cost of the project will be borne by the provincial government.

Ecnec approved the Higher Education Development in Pakistan (HEDP-revised) project of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) worth Rs12.782bn financed by the World Bank. The project activities will be executed throughout Pakistan.

The meeting considered the Pak University of Engineering & Emerging Technologies (PUEET) Phase-I (Knowledge Economy Initiative) project of the HEC with a cost of Rs23.54bn. PUEET will be a research and commercialisation university, which will house various centres of excellence in the cutting-edge fields of science and technology and a state-of-the-art technology park.

The meeting approved the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cities Improvement project at a cost of Rs97.146bn. The project will improve the quality of life of the residents of five KP cities — Abbottabad, Kohat, Mardan, Mingora and Peshawar — directly benefitting about six million urban population.

Ecnec also approved the construction of 10th Avenue from IJP Road to Srinagar Highway, Islamabad, at a total cost of Rs12.139bn. The project will be executed in two phases and will be completed in two years.

The meeting deferred a decision on the Greater Thar Canal project with directives for the relevant stakeholders, both at the federal and provincial levels, to reach a consensus amongst them prior to its resubmission to Ecnec.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2021


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