Islamabad, December 08(Online): The Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform has clarified a news article “Western route not part of CPEC, says BAP leader,” published in a section of the press. The statement is completely incorrect, baseless and wrongly attributed to the Minister for Planning, Development & Reform.
Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar has time and again stated on different forums that Western route is part of CPEC and it would be completed to ensure uplift of the less developed areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
Contracting Chinese financing for the Western route project ‘Upgradation of D.I.Khan (Yarik) – Zhob, Phase-I (210 km)’ is one of the important deliverables for the next Joint Cooperation Committee of CPEC, scheduled to be held in the 3rd week of this month.
As per the approved plan of CPEC, the Western route consists of Peshawar-Burhan/Hakla Yarik/ D.I.Khan – Mughalkot – Zhob – Quetta – Sorab – Basima – Hoshab and Gwadar section. Construction work on Hakla-D.I.Khan section is underway and planned to be completed in 2019. Yarik/D.I.Khan-Zhob section of western alignment was approved by the ECNEC in April 2017, for which financing options are under discussion. Other two remaining sections, Zhob – Kutchlak / Quetta and Quetta – Sohrab are in feasibility study stage. The government is committed to the socio-economic development of less developed areas and attaches top priority to uplift of these areas and eradicate poverty.
A number of development initiatives in Balochistan under CPEC are in different stages of planning and implementation. The projects include Khuzdar- Basima N-30 Road, Naukundi-Mashkhel-Panjgur Road connecting with M-8 & N-85, Quetta Water Supply Scheme from Pat feeder Canal, Quetta Mass Transit System, Bostan Industrial Zone, 1,320MW Coal-fired Power Plant at Hub, 300 MW Gwadar Power Project, Gwadar Eastbay Expressway, Gwadar International Airport, Construction of Breakwaters, Dredging of berthing areas & channels, Infrastructure for Free Zone & EPZs port related industries, Necessary Facilities of Fresh Water Treatment and Supply, Pak China Friendship Hospital at Gwadar, Technical and Vocational Institute at Gwadar and Gwadar smart port city Plan.
Moreover, present government attaches top priority to the development of Gwadar on the principles of blue economy. Deliberations are underway to establish Oil City at Gwadar aimed at substituting refined oil imports with crude oil, promotes the development of aquaculture for fisheries and seafood along the coastal area and coastal tourism.