Islamabad September 7 2023: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) here on Thursday cleared four development projects worth Rs126.2 billion in a meeting chaired by Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Dr Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan.
Among others, the meeting was attended by the Secretary Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Chief Economist, Members Planning Commission and representatives from various ministries.
The forum recommended Thar Coal Rail Connectivity with existing Railway Network projects including last mile connectivity with Port Qasim worth Rs55.97 billion to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), a news release said.
The Ministry of Railway is the sponsoring agency of the project, which aims at connecting the Thar Coal mines and Port Qasim with Railway through new Rail Links. It is aligned with sectoral objectives of Vision-2025 by providing bulk transportation facilities according to the requirement of the growing economy.
The project envisages construction of 105-Kilometer new single line Railway Track infrastructure from Thar Coal Mines to New Chhor Station and construction of 18-kilometer double-line track which includes 4.20-kilometer loop lines from Bin Qasim to the Port Qasim.
The project has been designed to provide reliable and efficient railway infrastructure to break the geographical barriers of Thar coal and enable its transportation across the country, providing an environment friendly mode of coal transportation.
If transported by railway, the environmental pollution will be minimal besides reducing traffic congestion on roads.
The project will enable utilization of indigenous Thar coal to bring import bill in line with the pillar of Pakistan Vision-2025 and expansion of Thar coal to rationalize fuel cost, reducing the power generation cost and ensuring uplift of local populace of Tharparkar through generation of royalty and job creation.
The coal demand in Pakistan is mainly driven by two major sectors including the Electricity and Cement industry. The demand for coal will further increase due to upcoming capacity additions in both the Power and Cement sectors.
With successful commercial operation of indigenous coal power plants in Thar coal fields, it is imperative that growing coal demand should be met through Thar coal to displace imported coal.
Such initiatives have already been noticed where upcoming coal-based power capacity addition is being designed on Thar coal.
The forum also recommended construction of New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA – 3rd revised) to ECNEC with an estimated cost of Rs 60.208 billion.
The 3rd Revised Project PC-I envisages construction of NGIA along with allied facilities over a piece of land already acquired measuring 4,300 acres (Airside: 2,730-acres Landside: 1,570-acres).
The CDWP has cleared the Improvement/Widening of Spera Ragha Road from Khanozai Cross to Loralai Killa Saifullah project worth Rs6.121 billion.
The government of Balochistan is the sponsoring agency of the project. The revised project envisages improvement and widening of 92.5-kilometer existing single-lane road to the two-lane facility having existing width of 3.65-meter to 7.3-meter and 2.43-meter wide shoulders on either side, from Khanozai (N-50) cross to Loralai – killaSaifullah (N-70).
The project will connect National Highway (N-50) with National Highway (N-70). After completion, the project will serve as the main route to connect the Central Cities of Northern Balochistan to Southern Punjab.
Presently the road is single lane and in very bad condition and cannot be used for mobility. The locals and transporters are facing many difficulties.
The forum also cleared the special repair of 600 passenger coaches and 1200 Bogies/Wagons worth Rs3.95 billion.
The objective of this project is to procure essentially required imported/locally manufactured spares and to carry out special repair, heavy repair, defend maintenance of stabled 600 coaches and 1200 bogie wagons comprising 227 air-conditioned passenger coaches with the latest facilities.