CPEC western route wins tentative nod

Published: April 23, 2016
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: 

The government on Friday conditionally approved the 285-kilometre long western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) after Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa objected over its alignment and claimed that it is in violation of the agreement reached at an all parties conference (APC).

The APC held in May last year was instrumental in developing national consensus on routes of the CPEC. It recommended that the government give priority to the western route which passes through some of the country’s hinterlands and can help address poverty in these areas. The government initially preferred the eastern route and allocated more than 90% of CPEC funding for its early completion.

CPEC’s western route clears another hurdle

On Friday, the communication ministry tabled the project for construction of a motorway from Burhan/Hakla on M-1 to Dera Ismail Khan at the rationalised cost of Rs124.2 billion for the consideration of the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec).

However, K-P Finance Minister Muzaffar Sayyed objected to the proposed alignment, officials told The Express Tribune after the meeting. They said he claimed that the alignment was not final yet and that the route was in violation of the APC agreement.

The communication ministry informed the meeting that the route for the motorway was as per the joint declaration issued after the APC, a handout issued by the finance ministry said.

Universities on western route of CPEC to start this year

Ecnec was also informed that the proposed alignment of the project along the western route of CPEC has been taken up as agreed during the 5th Joint Coordination Committee meeting between China and Pakistan

The finance ministry said Ecnec approved the project, subject to formal confirmation of the route being in accordance with the understanding contained in the joint declaration of the APC. Ecnec Chairman Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the K-P should not change the goalposts as the matter has already been resolved at the highest political level.

Ecnec also conditionally approved a Rs11.98 billion project for acquisition of land for western route, compensation for affected properties and relocation of utilities for construction of the Burhan/Hakla to DI Khan motorway.

According to the project documents, the Hakla-DI Khan road will be completed by June 2018 and work on it is expected to begin by the middle of this year.

However, the last-minute objections may create difficulties in timely completion of this project. Another issue that can affect timely completion is the availability of the requisite funds as the project requires huge funds for its completion by June 2018.

Western route: K-P hands Centre wishlist of CPEC projects

The proposed motorway will be built as a controlled access facility and includes provision of 11 interchanges, 19 flyovers, 15 bridges, 74 underpasses, 259 culverts and three major bridges.

The land acquisition project envisages acquisition of 7,575 acres of land for construction of the expressway. The average unit cost of the project is Rs1.8 million per acre, which is slightly on the lower side when compared with the unit cost of the Rs1.97 million per acre of Sukkur-Multan section of the eastern route.

Ecnec approved the project for construction of bridge across River Indus connecting Larkana and Khairpur districts with approach roads and river training works at a revised cost of Rs13.4 billion.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd,  2016.

 

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Brainy Bhaijan
    Apr 23, 2016 - 11:39AM

    China is under a HUGE economic crisis. Their corporate debt currently stands at 160 percent of their ENTIRE GDP.
    I personally do not believe the Chinese are really going to aggressively go ahead with this project. They are right now under severe capital shortage.
    Please read about China’s current economic state on the internet to get a true picture of what is going on.
    Pakistanis are making a fuss out of a thing which may end up getting suspended by the Chinese anyways.Recommend

  • IBN E ASHFAQUE
    Apr 23, 2016 - 2:26PM

    The Chinese have to move ahead in terms of strategically reducing time & costs to connect with Middle East and Africa and CPEC achieves that. The DEBT problem is a global issue and eventually it will burst but it will take time just like a big ship takes more time to sink……..than a dinghy……May Allah guide us all……Recommend

  • Reader
    Apr 23, 2016 - 2:38PM

    @Brainy Bhaijan:
    You are nothing more than a jealous Indian :)Recommend

  • Ashraf
    Apr 23, 2016 - 3:07PM

    Great news !! Now nothing can stop Pakistan from becoming most developed nation in world. Soon India will come to us for aid. Even China after some time.Recommend

  • K M Khan
    Apr 23, 2016 - 4:05PM

    BB your claim is baseless like always, according to latest economic report in Time Magazine, Chinese debt is the lowest among leading economic nations i.e., 16% of their GDP whereas Indian Debt is exceeding to 56% of their GDP. Recommend

  • Xnain
    Apr 23, 2016 - 5:17PM

    “However, K-P Finance Minister Muzaffar Sayyed objected to the proposed alignment, officials told The Express Tribune after the meeting. They said he claimed that the alignment was not final yet and that the route was in violation of the APC agreement.”
    They want the route to pass through their electoral constituencies because for PTI, anything outside Peshawar is effectively not a part of KPK.Recommend

  • Mushtaq Ahmad
    Apr 23, 2016 - 6:41PM

    I don’t agree that China is financially under pressure. It’s economic development is very strong and well founded. Further the financial commitment to Pakistan will be beneficial to both countries.Hence I am sanguine that there will be no setback in implementation of the development projects in Pakistan.Recommend

  • ibs
    Apr 23, 2016 - 7:58PM

    @Brainy Bhaijan:

    You are completely mistaken. China is still growing at 6% + per year. Their economy is massive, so much so that large corporations from the US are banking on China for their growth. From apple to starbucks to mc donalds. This project is a strategic one for them. They are opening up their trading and energy route via the CPEC which will be the future of China.Recommend

  • Ul Logical
    Apr 23, 2016 - 9:23PM

    @Ashraf: mate, I’d be more careful of what I smoke….!!!
    @Mushtaq Ahmad: China’s financial COMMITMENT to pak is to just shylock the country; and yes it certainly will be beneficial to China; sanguinity should definitely help.Recommend

  • shabana
    Apr 23, 2016 - 10:24PM

    On CPEC sindh and baluchistan leadership and people’s not supporting western route or KP stance one day if imran become PM he will try to build KalaBagh dam the KP people’s will be silent on this issieRecommend

  • SK
    Apr 24, 2016 - 8:55AM

    If Pakistanis are convinced on their own about the utility & benefits of CPEC for their own country & her economy then they should unitedly support the project irrespective of region or political affiliation. Having said that I personally convinced that CPEC is largely to benefit China for their trade with Central & West Asia at the cost of Pakistan resources and China would surely bull doze Pakistan to accept their terms & conditions in the current situation. The transit fees payable by China would be adjusted against the loan for the said project to Pakistan and balance share would be claimed by the Army for their services & charity. The Common Pakistani & federal government are unlikely to be benefited.Recommend

  • ali khan
    Apr 26, 2016 - 1:27AM

    I believe CPEC is the need of China. Similarly another route from CARS is required to pass from Chitral to Mardan linking CPEC proposed western route through Indus highway along Kohat-Bannu- DIkhan and yet another route linking all tribal agencies and Afghanistan from Bajawar to Waziristan-DI khan.Pakistan must exploit this opportunity with China to also give financial support to aforementioned routes as well. It is in the future interest of Pakistan that at this moment we should integrate all federating units including tribal belt,Khyber Pakhtun Khwa and northern Balochistan,as these regions has been most affected due to war on terror. Pakistanis should think about whole country and,not get divided in east – west region please. Recommend

  • Tariq
    May 27, 2016 - 9:15AM

    Please think about smart cities along with Cpec industrial zones Saudi Arab can help and invest in smart cities India is already working on smart cities Recommend

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