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October 3, 2019

Ecnec approves Rs672bln highways, power sector projects

Business

October 3, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Wednesday approved at least Rs672 billion worth of highways and power sector infrastructure projects.

The Ecnec accorded the approvals in a meeting presided over by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Hafeez Shaikh.

The meeting approved projects, including construction of 21km long dedicated yellow bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor, linking Landhi to Numaish, 47.55km Peshawar-Torkham motorway project and interlinking of 220kV Daharki, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur and Chishtian grid stations for improvement of power supply system in southern areas.

The Ecnec approved the construction of Karachi urban mobility project (yellow bus rapid transit corridor) to be executed by the government of Sindh at a cost of Rs61.439 billion. The project to be funded mainly by the World Bank would cover a distance of 21km (17.6km at grade and 3.4km) and starts from Korangi Industrial Road Dawood Chowrangi Landhi, Jam Sadiq Bridge and passing through KPT Interchange FTC Interchange, Shahrah-e-Faisal, Shahrah-e-Quaideen to Kashmir Road intersection where it would integrate with red BRT corridor.

“The project would have 28 stations having facility of 268 buses and some 300,000 passengers would benefit from the corridor every day,” finance ministry said in a statement.

The Ecnec approved with a proviso for formation of a coordination committee between the federal government and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for overview and fiscal discipline, the construction of Peshawar-Torkham motorway project as component-1 of Khyber Pass Economic Corridor at a rationalised cost of Rs36.705 billion ($231.10 million) with the World Bank share of Rs34.503 billion ($217.24 million) based on preliminary design. The firmed-up cost of the project would be available after the receipt of bids on design-build-operate/engineering, procurement and construction basis for which the Planning Commission would develop guidelines/standard operating procedures as well as other innovative mechanism.

The meeting further approved component-II of ‘Economic Development and Upift of Areas Adjoining the Motorway’ for which the framework agreement to facilitate preparation and feasibilities through the World Bank had been agreed at a total cost of Rs8.357 billion. The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would submit PC-1 envisaged under the component-II after the feasibility and detailed design.

The Ecnec approved a project for interlinking of 220kV Daharki, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur and Chishtian grid stations for improvement of power supply system in southern areas at an updated cost of Rs15.795 billion, including foreign exchange component of Rs9.8 billion to provide reliable and uninterrupted power to consumers. The project would improve the reliability and uninterrupted power supply to Hyderabad and Multan electric supply companies areas, while the interlinking of Rahim Yar Khan grid station to Daharki through 220kV transmission line would provide backup link between Multan, Guddu and Shikarpur. The proposed line from Rahim Yar Khan to Bahawalpur and in/out of Vehari-Chishtian 220kV single circuit transmission line would provide additional source of supply to 220kV Bahawalpur and Chishtian grid stations.

The Ecnec approved construction of a four-lane 18.98km long (with embankment for 6 lanes) expressway on east bay of Gwadar port at a cost of Rs17.369 billion with foreign exchange component of Rs16.435 billion to link Gwadar port with the Makran coastal highway as well as with Gwadar free zone and future container terminals. The project would also have one interchange and four bridges, four pedestrian overhead bridges along with cross-drainage structures and allied works.

The Ecnec also approved Dasu hydropower project (stage-1), revision of cost for land acquisition and built-up property ata total cost of Rs510.980 billion, including Rs36.914 billion for land cost. The committee directed the planning, development and reform division to issue authorisation of the revised cost of land acquisition and built-up property of Dasu hydropower project (stage-1) as recommended by the Central Development Working Party and subsequently by Ecnec.

The meeting approved Lahore water and wastewater management project-construction of surface water treatment at a cost of Rs21.045 billion with foreign exchange component of Rs19.684 billion to provide adequate quantity of safe drinking water through a unified water supply network. The project would also help maximise the efficiency of the water supply for creating self-sustaining water zones and distribution management areas.

The Ecnec granted ex-post facto approval to proposal by the Planning Commission for simplification of development funds release process, including the release of project-wise funds to the ongoing approved projects of ministries/divisions during the first week of each quarter as per criteria of the finance division (20 percent in first and second quarters and 30 percent in third and fourth quarter) without originating demand by the concerned official.

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