Gwadar port crucial for country’s fast economic uplift: NA body


GWADAR, March 27 (APP): The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Ports and Shipping on Monday strongly recommended to the federal government to attach top priority to completion of power projects in Gwadar to meet the immediate as well as long term needs of the port and the city.
The recommendations were made during a meeting of the committee under the chairmanship of Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah, MNA at Gwadar Port Authority Headquarters here.
Addressing the meeting, he said that it was very encouraging that a number of development projects started within a short period of one year had taken shape and were quite visible on the ground.
All the committee members duly recognized the hard work and dedication of the managements of both Gwadar Port Authority (GDA) and Gwadar Development Authority (GDA).
On the occasion all the members called upon the Federal Government to immediately start construction of already approved 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant in order to ensure timely completion of CPEC and non-CPEC projects in Gwadar, especially to make the Gwadar Port fully functional.
The committee also resolved to hold a meeting with the Ministry of Water and Power authorities for this purpose as well as to ask them to immediately take measures for connecting Gwadar City through a dedicated 100-megawatt transmission line with Iran from Gabd border point.
Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah said that Gwadar Port was to play a very important role in the socio-economic development of the country in general and that of Balochistan in particular once the Gwadar Port Free Zone; the New Gwadar International Airport and the Gwadar Port Eastbay Expressway projects were completed in the very near future.
He expressed the hope that with the completion of necessary infrastructure like water, power and road connectivity the country’s economy would see a steep rise leading to socio-economic change in the region.
He also called upon the government of Balochistan to play active role towards the development of Gwadar as a smart port city by allocating substantial funding in its annual development plans.
The committee resolved that it should be collective responsibility of all to ensure that all the basic services that are required to make a port fully functional were provided, which also include incentives to the port operators and aspiring investors.
The NA Standing Committee extended its all-out support to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping and the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) in their endeavours to make the port a success story.
During the meeting, members of the committee gave inputs, suggestions and proposals in order to overcome the issues and problems being faced by the Port authorities, especially in carrying out commercial activities vis-à-vis developing the Gwadar Port Free Zone.
Earlier, the 13-member delegation of NA Standing Committee on Ports and Shipping drove straight from airport to visit the Gwadar Port Civic Centre; the Gwadar Free Zone site; the site of Pak-China Vocational and Technical Institute; GPA Residential Complex and the Gwadar International Terminal to see on-the-ground development activities.
Chairman GPA, Dostain Khan Jamaldini; Project Directors Engineer Daud Baloch; Engineer Naveed Sheikh and Manager Gwadar Free Zone Company, Peter Hu made detailed presentations of their respective development plans and activities.
Director General GDA, Dr Sajjad Hussain Baloch and Commissioner Mekran, Bashir Ahmed Bangulzai also apprised the members of the Parliament on the pace of uplift activities in Gwadar.
The committee was informed that the first phase of the port with three multipurpose berths having a total quay length of 602 metres was fully operational including an additional 100-metre service jetty and RORO facility.
For development of Free Zone the federal government had provided Rs. 6.40 billion to Balochistan government for acquisition of land and the Free Zone was being developed on the Eastbay of Gwadar Port.
The committee was informed that in the pilot phase beside construction of a large display and exhibition centre, a number of other facilities were being developed on 60-acre area of the Free Zone adjacent to the existing port and would be completed by the end of 2018.
At the same time GPA’s Gwadar Port Business Complex, which is planned to provide port-allied facilities would be completed during the same period.
Senior Joint Secretary Ports and Shipping, Waqar Ahmed and senior officials of GPA and GDA were also present on the occasion.