Work on Western Corridor progressing in full swing: Ahsan Iqbal

Govt to transform PIDE into a leading think tank in fields of development and economics: Ahsan Iqbal

ISLAMABAD, Oct 5 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal said Wednesday that there was not any change in the route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and it was beneficial for entire country from Gilgit to Gwadar.

Criticizing political point scoring over this gigantic project of
national importance, he said, “Some sections are carrying forward a malicious campaign aimed at creating ambiguities about this game changer project.”

After the clarification from the Chinese Embassy, there should not be any ambiguity over this issue, he said in a statement issued here.

The Minister said, during the CPEC Summit held on August 29, all the Chief Ministers clearly supported this project.

China and Pakistan in the concluding session of the 5th JCC of the CPEC had developed consensus on the principle of “one corridor with multiple passages” for CPEC transport planning, aiming at directly benefiting the socio-economic development of Pakistan, especially the western and north-western regions, and providing effective connectivity to Gwadar Port.

Ahsan Iqbal said that work on Western Corridor was progressing in full swing and reaffirmed that the route would be completed by 2018.

He informed that 650 Kilometers long Gwadar-Quetta section of the Western Route would be completed by December 2016.

Furthermore,he added that making this route operational Gwadar would get connected with not only to Quetta but also to Afghanistan.

With the completion of Western route, people living in the
underdeveloped areas would witness new era of development and prosperity.

The minister reinforced commitment of the government that the road projects on western passage are being given top priority.

Government of Pakistan is funding the road projects on western route through Federal PSDP, Chinese financing and also through ADB, he added.

He said that construction work on D.I.Khan – Hakla 285 Km Motorway fully funded through PSDP has already commenced by completing all the requirements including feasibility, design, land acquisition and approval in the shortest possible time.

He said that the connectivity of Gwadar to the national highway network will be established with completion of N-85 and M-8 highway projects by December, 2016 which also forms part of the western corridor alignment.

The M-8 section Gwadar – Turbat – Hoshab (193 Km) has already been completed.

M-8 project was approved in March, 1999 and N-85 in 2007 but these road projects remained un-completed till the pace of work on these projects was fast tracked by the present Government from 2013 onwards.

With the completion of these projects, Gwadar Port will be connected to the national highway network.The minister said that reconstruction of 110 km long Khuzdar – Basima road project was approved by the ECNEC on 26-05-2011, however, no physical work was initiated on the project.

The Khuzdar-Basima road project has been included as a short term project in CPEC Transport Plan by the present Government and construction work will commence soon by NHA.