Key CPEC railway upgrade project referred to ECNEC

ISLAMABAD: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Thursday cleared 36 development projects at a total cost of about Rs800 billion.

Presided over by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz, the CDWP approved 24 projects worth Rs19.6bn and recommended another 12 larger projects worth Rs781.4bn to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) for approval.

Under the current financial powers, the CDWP can itself approve projects costing no more than Rs3bn while the projects of higher estimated costs are approved by Ecnec on technical grounds.

In transport and communication section, a total of eight projects were presented out of which six projects were referred to Ecnec and two projects worth Rs112m were approved by the CDWP.

Improvement of rail track from Karachi to Peshawar envisaged
Major projects among those referred to Ecnec included upgradation of Pakistan Railways existing Main Line-1 (ML-1) at a rationalised cost of Rs381.038bn, dualisation of Mardan to Swabi road at a cost of Rs9.550bn and construction of Peshawar-Torkham Motorway Project as part of Khyber pass economic corridor project (KPEC) at a cost of Rs41.44bn.

In the energy section, three projects were presented out of which two were approved and one was referred to Ecnec. The project of “Evacuation of power from Suki-Kinari, Kohala and Mahl HPP in northern areas” was referred to Ecnec for further approval. The meeting approved installation of pilot battery energy storage system and Dargai Hydroelectric power station.

In water resources sector, a total of five projects were presented out of which three worth Rs1.596bn were approved by the CDWP. Two projects were sent to Ecnec. The projects referred to Ecnec included Balochistan Water Resources Development project at a cost of Rs15.526bn and Toiwar-Batozai storage dam project worth Rs4.905bn.

The CDWP approved projects including feasibility and detailed design of Baber Kach Dam on Nari River at a cost of Rs75.072m, Chao Tangi Small Dam in South Waziristan” at a cost of Rs994m and land and water monitoring/evaluation of Indus plan at a cost of Rs469.271m.

In physical planning and housing section, a total of four projects of Rs2.087bn were approved by the CDWP. These included construction of auditorium hall at Pakistan Marine Academy worth Rs177.204m, extension of presidential flats of Pakistan Marine Academy at a cost of Rs190.345m, construction of joint intelligence directorate in NACTA Headquarters Islamabad at Rs400m and Project Readiness Financing (PRF) for Khyber Pakhtunkhawa intermediate cities improvement investment projects” at a cost of Rs1.32bn.

In science and technology, total of seven projects were presented out of which six projects of worth Rs6.539bn were approved. These included establishment of NUST Campus at Quetta at a cost of 2.623bn, construction of hostel/sports facilities at Karakoram International University at a cost of Rs316.390m, strengthening of University of Peshawar at cost of Rs748m, Academic and Research Linkages with different countries/agencies under bilateral agreement at the cost of Rs467m and establishment of Space Applications Research Centre, Gilgit-Baltistan at the cost of Rs665m.

In agriculture and food, a total of two projects were presented and approved at the cost of Rs1.057bn. The projects included strengthening/upgradation of agriculture and livestock research system of Arid Zone Research Institute, Umerkot Sindh at a cost of Rs528.592m and establishment of Plant Breeders Rights Registry and strengthening of DUS Examination System at a cost of Rs528m.

In environment section, a total of three projects were presented out of which two projects were referred to Ecnec and one project of worth Rs1.848bn was approved. The projects referred to ECNEC included Strengthening of Early Warning System of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) and Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Services Project”.

The CDWP also approved installation of weather surveillance Radar at Multan at a cost of Rs1.848bn. In information technology section, establishment of Pakistan space Centre was presented by Suparco. The total cost of this project is Rs26.999bn. It was referred to Ecnec for further approval.

In governance section, a project of “Establishment of Special Protection Unit in AJK” was approved at a cost of Rs1.038bn.

In health, a total of two projects were approved at a total cost of Rs1.328bn. The approved projects included replacement and upgradation of HVAC Plant Room Equipments & Allied Works at PIMS, Islamabad and up gradation of existing facilities of hepatobiliary and organ transplant centre.

In mass media section, establishment of Sautul Quran FM Network Phase-II was approved at a cost of Rs138.689m. In culture, sports and tourism section, laying of synthetic hockey turf at Gilgit was approved at Rs123.713m.

The meeting also approved establishing Centres of Excellence at National Training Bureau, NISTE and Heavy Machinery Operators Facilities at 13 districts at a total cost of Rs1.8bn. In education section, Establishment of Islamabad Model College for Boys in Pakistan Town was approved at a cost of Rs161.685m.