Govt launches unprecedented development projects in Balochistan: Senate told

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 2 (APP):Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday apprised the Senate that unprecedented development projects have been started in Balochistan and first phase of setting up Free Economic Zone (FEZ) at Gwadar was being completed in December.
Responding to various supplementary questions during Question Hour, the minister said record development projects have been completed in Balochistan during last three years.
He said Gwadar Port has also been connected with Quetta through 660 km long road in last three years.
To a supplementary question, the minister said financing process for constructing Gwadar Airport has been completed and its design was being reviewed by both Pakistani and Chinese engineers.
He expressed the hope that physical work on the airport would be started in first quarter of next year. He said 1320 MW power plant was also being set up in Hub (Balochistan).
Ahsan Iqbal said work on Western Route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was in full swing and as per promised it would be completed by 2018.
To another supplementary query, the minister said Sahiwal Coal Power Plant was based on super critical technology and was being set up after getting clearness of Environmental Protection Agency.
He said a number of projects were planned and approved by the federal government to overcome the shortage of water in Gwadar. These projects were included necessary facilities for fresh water treatment, water supply and distribution in Gwadar, desalination plant.
The projects were initially planned to be financed under CPEC funding, however due to urgency of the matter on account of water scarcity in Gwadar, the Federal Government decided to execute the Phase-I of the Necessary Facilities for Fresh Water Project through its own funding.
He said Phase-I included the water supply from Swad Dam located at a distance of 67 km from Gwadar city while Phase-II included transmission lines from Shadi Kaur Dam, distribution system, sewerage collection and treatment system.
In addition, keeping in view the scarcity of water and urgency of the matter, a project of 5.0 MGD Desalination Plant was being processed by the Federal and Provincial Government @ 50/50 per cent cost sharing, he added.