Set standards being observed for land acquisition for road, railway projects: Ahsan

ISLAMABAD, Dec 22 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning Development
and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal Thursday said the set standards of National
Highway Authority and Pakistan Railways were being observed for the acquisition of land for Right of Way (RoW) for road and railway projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) .
Replying to a question in the Senate, he said sufficient land for the RoW was being acquired as per the specifications to accommodate the required number of lanes for roads and as per number of lines for the railway track keeping into consideration any expansion required in future.
Answering another question, he said less developed areas were indentified by the provincial governments by using economic data of the districts, basic infrastructure and quality of life of the area.
He said as per its responsibilities under the Constitution, the federal government undertook development projects of national importance.
After the 18th Amendment, the constitution development at local level
was the responsibility of the provincial government, he added.
However, the federal government during 2016-17, he said, had executed a large number of projects in various sectors in less developed areas defined by the provincial governments with total allocation of Rs 280.737 billion.
The government was making efforts to bring the less developed areas at par with th rest of the country as it had allocated atotal amount of Rs 895.264 bilion from 2013 to 2017 for the the purpose, he added.
Replying to another question, the minister said the Export Processing Zones Authority had established seven zones in different locations of the country. Items exported through export processing zones during the fiscal year 2014-15 were worth $508.895 million and in 2015-16 worth $519.977 million.