ISLAMABAD: The last meeting of the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) under the current government has been called on Thursday to clear Rs451 billion worth of Karachi to Peshawar railway track under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
To be presided over by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz, the meeting would take up a total of 33 projects involving a total estimated cost of about Rs632bn.
Informed sources said the initial total cost of the Mainline-1 (Karachi to Peshawar) was estimated about $8.172bn but the project will be taken up in two phases, most probably through financing from Chinese government concessional loan for which final agreements were being worked out.
The first phase of the project worth Rs451 billion would be awarded through engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on the basis of open bidding among selective Chinese companies for completion in 2020, followed by second phase completion by 2022.
On completion of both phases, the project is expected to almost double the speed of the railway transport on the mainline from existing 60-70 kilometre per hour to 120-140. The sources said the first phase would spread between Karachi and Hassan Abdal and even though Pakistan had certain reservations over its costing by China at $4bn, almost $600 million higher that estimates of the Pakistan Railways, these matters had to be settled at a different level while project design and PC-1 had to be cleared on technical parameters worth Rs451bn.
Besides the ML-1, four other projects in the Transport and Communication sector will be presented to the CDWP. These include construction of 47.55km Peshawar Torkham Motorway project as part of Khyber Pass Economic Corridor Project (KPEC) at an estimated cost of Rs49.798bn besides dualisation of Mardan Swabi Road at a cost of Rs9.55bn and KPEC project part-II of Rs7.92bn.
Also, a Rs4.722bn project for upgradation/construction of Sher Shah Suri Road from Begum Kot to Sheikhupura-Muridke Road would also be part of the agenda.
In energy sector, three projects would be placed before the CDWP. These include Dargai Hydro Electric Power Station at cost of Rs3.099bn, 26 MW Hydro Power Project Shagarthang, Skardu at a cost of Rs9.180bn and 30 MW Hydropower project Ghowari at a cost of Rs7.986bn.
In water resources sector, feasibility study and detailed design of Baber Kach Dam on Nari River at cost of Rs75.072m, Chao Tangi Small dam, South Waziristan Agency at a cost of Rs994m and Balochistan Water Resource development project at cost of Rs15.526bn.
In environment sector, three projects would be taken up by the CDWP. These include Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Rs10.176bn and a project of Aviation division related to the strengthening of early warning System of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) at a cost of Rs12.942bn.
Two projects of Information Technology sector would also be considered by the CDWP which include Punjab Police Integrated Command Control Communication (PPIC3) Centre Lahore Rs14.528bn and Establishment of Pakistan Space Centre (PSC) at a cost of Rs15.864bn.
In Physical Planning and Housing, four projects would be taken up by the CDWP. This include construction of Joint Intelligence Directorate in NACTA headquarters Islamabad at a cost of Rs400m, ConstrWauction of Auditorium Hall at Pakistan Marine Academy at Maripur Road Karachi at Rs177.204 million, Extension of Presidential flats at Pakistan Marine Academy at Maripur Road Karachi at Rs190.345 million and project readiness financing (PRF) for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Intermediate Cities improvement investment project of Rs132m.
In agriculture and food, strengthening and up gradation of Agriculture and Livestock Research system of Arid Zone Research Institute Umerkot Sindh was approved at cost of Rs598.592m, Establishment of Plant Breeders Right Registry and Strengthening of DUS Examination System at Rs528.461m.
In Governance two projects including Capacity Building of officer of Economist Group of Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms of Rs782m and Establishment of Special Protection Unit in AJK Rs1.038bn was also coming to CDWP.
In Culture Sports and Tourism sector the project of laying of synthetic Hockey Turf at Gilgit at cost of Rs123.713m will be presented before CDWP. The project of Federal Nutrition programme of Rs248.045m.