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National

July 1, 2016

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Parliamentary committee on CPEC to ensure priority to Western Route

Parliamentary committee on CPEC to ensure priority to Western Route

CPEC declared centerpiece of ‘One Belt,
One Road’ initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping
by Silk Road Forum in Warsaw

ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on Thursday was informed that western route of the CPEC would be completed by August 2018 as work on it was already underway at different segments and this would initially be a modern 4-lane highway which would eventually be upgraded into a 6-lane motorway, for which planning was underway. The committee met on Thursday with Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed presiding over.

The committee was told that allocations for the Western route have already been made and construction is underway on fast track basis. It was stated that priority was being accorded to the route in accordance with the decision of the All Parties conference of May 28, 2015. The PM has also directed that it should be given priority.

The committee congratulated Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo for being made Minister of Ports and Shipping and expressed hope that under his leadership, Gwadar would take off in the near future.

The Committee was told that Gwadar International Airport would be of international standards capable of handling the largest of passenger planes including the A380 Boeing Jet. The Chinese government has given a grant of $10 million to impart technical training to the local population of Gwadar. Further Sawad dam would soon solve the problem of water shortage in Gwadar.

A briefing was also given on various financial incentives being offered to potential investors in the Special Economic Zone of Gwadar.Gwadar port is also being activated and three new ships will arrive from China, bringing construction material in July 2016.An agreement has been made with an Iranian company to supply additional 100 MW of electricity to Gwadar by the end of 2017.

Chairman of the Committee Mushahid Hussain Sayed talked about his visit to China. He said that he had also participated in the Silk Road Forum organized in Warsaw, Poland to promote connectivity between Europe and Asia and he said that there was clear consensus that CPEC was the centerpiece, the flagship, pilot project of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, hence failure is not an option and ‘the people of Pakistan are unwavering in their determination to construct the CPEC as it is in the interest of Pakistan and its people’. The Chairman, NHA briefed the Committee in detail regarding the progress being made on the Western route which, he said, would be completed by August 2018.

The Parliamentary Committee on CPEC directed the Ministry of Planning & Development to prepare a projection of requirement for electricity for Gwadar and Balochistan as a whole. The Committee was all praise for FWO that has already delivered the 110 km of the Khuzdar-Bassima highway. It recognised that FWO worked against heavy odds including difficult terrain of Balochistan as well as security situation in certain parts.

The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks to the chair. Members who attend the meeting included Senator Lt. Gen. (R) Salahuddin Tirmizi, Senator Baz Mohammad Khan, Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, Ghous Bux Mahar, MNA, Rana Mohammad Afzal, Mir Ijaz Jhakrani, MNA and Secretary of the Committee Khalid Mehmood.

 

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