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Parliamentary panel asks govt to give priority to CPEC’s western route

Parliamentary panel asks govt to give priority to CPEC’s western route

ISLAMABAD: The Parlia­mentary Committee on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has recommended to the government that the western route of the project should be built as a dual carriageway at the outset and, eventually, there should be a motorway linking Gwadar with the rest of the country.

A meeting of the committee presided over by its chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed was briefed on Monday by Chairman of the National Highway Authority Shahid Tarar and Director General of the Frontier Works Organisation Maj Gen Mohammad Afzal on infrastructure projects to be completed under the CPEC with priority being given to the western route as had been decided by a multi-party conference on May 28.

Also read: CPEC facing teething problems

The committee was informed that the western route, which starts from Gwadar and goes to Kashgar in China via Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, was being built on a priority basis and most of its sectors would be completed by the end of next year.

The CPEC is a 15-year project between Pakistan and China spanning 2015-2030, while the Western route is among the ‘Early Harvest Projects’ which have to be completed by 2018.

Senator Mushahid said the CPEC was a long-term natio­nal project, which was above politics, province, party or any government.

He said the committee had suggested that it was essential to preserve, promote and protect the rights and interests of the smaller provinces, particularly less developed and remote areas of Balochistan and KP. “We have asked the relevant minister to inform the committee about power projects along the western route in the next meeting,” he added.

The Minister for Water and Power would brief the committee on energy projects under the CPEC next month and members of the committee would pay a visit to Gwadar and other areas at the western route to monitor progress of construction and related development there.

Water and Power Ministry’s Secretary Younas Dhaga briefed the committee on the Suki Kinari power project and coal deposits in Balochistan and KP.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2015

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