ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have agreed to include multi-billion dollar Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone under the CPEC framework, a statement said on Saturday.'The monumental...
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have agreed to include multi-billion dollar Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone (KCCDZ) under the CPEC framework, a statement said on Saturday.
"The monumental decision was taken during the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on CPEC, held on 23rd September 2021 at Islamabad and Beijing," the government statement said. KCCDZ, an initiative of the ministry of Maritime Affairs focuses on providing Karachi with an ultra modern urban infrastructure zone, placing Karachi amongst the top port cities of the world.
In a first of its kind even for CPEC, the planned multibillion dollar mega KCCDZ project will be built on direct Chinese investment in partnership with Karachi Port Trust (KPT).
The quantum of expected investment is around $3.5 billion.
"Developed on reclaimed area of approximately 640 hectares on the western back waters marsh land of KPT, KCCDZ will be a flagship project for not only Pakistan but the entire region," the statement added.
KCCDZ will also provide residential resettlement to more than 20,000 families living in the surrounding slums, "in accordance with PM Imran Khan’s vision for promoting low-cost housing". The environment friendly mega KCCDZ, envisages four new berths for KPT adding depth to Pakistan’s expanding maritime sector. It will also house a state-of-the-art fishing port, with a world class fisheries export processing zone to boost Pakistan’s trade potential. It will also drastically improve the marine ecosystem and reduce pollution by establishing a water treatment plant at the mouth of the Lyari River.
KCCDZ will connect with the rest of Karachi through a harbor bridge rising from behind Pakistan’s deepwater port, with exit ramps for Manora Islands and Sandspit beach.
KCCDZ carries enormous potential for global investors as well.
"KCCDZ will unlock Pakistan’s unexplored blue economy and significantly enhance development and industrial cooperation between the two brotherly countries. KCCDZ is a game changer for Pakistan," the statement added.
A number of projects under the CPEC, including those in the power sector, are currently facing delays for various reasons including the ongoing pandemic and surplus generation capacity.
The multi-billion dollar economic cooperation had not been able over the last three years to maintain the impetus that delivered a series of power plants and other infrastructure projects in the first phase of the CPEC implementation.
However, minister for planning and special initaitives Asad Umar rejected a perception that CPEC had been slowed down over the past three years and claimed the major work on the corridor projects had been completed during the tenure of the current government.
“In fact, real work on western corridor of CPEC has been started by our [PTI] government,” Umar said last week, adding that instead of waiting for the Chinese loans the government has started work on the projects from its own resources under the PSDP.