By Shahbaz Rana
The government on Friday cleared the Burhan-Havelian road to complete a missing link on the eastern alignment of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor at a cost of over Rs34 billion, while also giving the green light to a Rs202 million scheme for renovating the sprawling Prime Minister’s Office.
The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) sanctioned 13 development projects worth Rs91 billion including seven development projects that will be now placed before the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) for final approval.
The CDWP has the authority to approve up to Rs3 billion projects while schemes costing more are placed before the Ecnec for final approval.
Among significant projects were the construction of 59.1km-long Burhan-Havelian road, which is an important juncture on eastern alignment of the CPEC, and renovation of PM’s Office at a cost of Rs202.3 million. The amount is in addition to the Rs881 million budget the PM’s Office will get to meet expenses during fiscal year 2016-17.
PM Office renovation
The 359,342-square feet PM’s Office was constructed in 1997 during the second tenure of the PML-N government.
Out of Rs202 million approved on Friday, an allocation of Rs21.8 million or about 11% of the total cost has been given for special repair of bathrooms of the PM’s Office.
An amount of Rs106.5 million has been allocated for civil works, Rs86.4 million for engineering and maintenance and Rs3.5 million for horticulture.
Headed by Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal, the CDWP cleared projects in the energy, water resources, transport and communication and physical planning and housing.
The CDWP cleared Rs34.4 billion worth of Burhan-Havelian Expressway project for the final approval of the ECNEC. It includes construction of five interchanges, 40 bridges, 18 vehicular and pedestrian underpasses, culverts, retaining walls, cross drainage and erosion works with allied facilities for six-lane road.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom will co-finance the project. The UK’s $121.6 million grant will lessen Pakistan’s debt obligations by the same amount.
The CDWP approved 220 KV Mirpur Khas substation along with associated transmission lines at the cost of Rs4.2 billion, 220 KV Dera Ismail Khan-Zhob double circuit transmission along with 220 KV Zhob substation at the cost of Rs6.6 billion and seventh Secondary Transmission Line & Grid Stations valuing Rs20.7 billion. A 500 KV transmission line at the cost of Rs5.2 billion was also approved. The four energy projects recommended to Ecnec envisages strengthening transmission and distribution system, improving voltage profile, system reliability and efficiency in the power sector.
The CDWP approved a project for land acquisition, compensation and relocation of utilities for construction of Lahore-Sialkot Motorway at the cost of Rs6.4 billion. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to inaugurate the Lahore-Sialkot motorway after his return from the United Kingdom.
The CDWP also cleared another project for land acquisition, affected properties and relocation of utilities for construction of six lane highway way from Kalashah Kaku to Lahore Ring Road including bridge over River Ravi at the cost of Rs10.8 billion.
It also approved construction of pre-stress bridge from Mangri to Fatehpur Afghan Nullah Bahein Narowal at the cost of almost Rs811 million.
In water resource and environment sector, the CDWP approved construction of 100 dams in Tehsil Dubandal Gulistan Killa Abdullah and Chaman Area District Killa Abdullah at the cost of Rs1.6 billion. It aims to harness rainwater for cultivation of 25,000 acres of agriculture land and will also help improve water table by recharging groundwater in the district.
The CDWP approved acquisition of 4.17 acres land for construction of session-Division East at Mauve Road Sector G 11/4 at the cost of almost Rs194 million and acquisition of 3.2 acres of land for extension of Islamabad High Court Building at Islamabad at the cost of Rs69.9 million.
In governance sector, the CDWP approved position paper of Young Development Fellowship Programme project and support and monitoring of High Impact New Initiatives (HINI) of Vision-2025 project of Ministry of Planning and Development.
Courtesy: The Express Tribune