Pakistan government on Friday unveiled a Rs727 billion development programme, with Rs118 billion set aside for new and ongoing connectivity projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (Carec) programme and Khyber Pass Economic Corridor (KPEC).
Bulk of the funds has been earmarked for road projects along the western alignment of CPEC. The majority of these projects are underway in Balochistan to connect the northern and eastern parts of the country with Gwadar Port.
The government has also kept funds for feasibility study of an expressway project to link the Pak-Afghan border point of Ghulam Khan in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) to CPEC’s M-14 Motorway, the shortest link for Kabul with Gwadar Port.
Among the prominent CPEC projects, Rs16 billion has been earmarked for upgrading the existing national highway between the Dera Ismail Khan district of K-P and Khuzdar district of Balochistan into a dual carriageway to link CPEC’s M-14 and M-8 motorways.
These projects will drastically reduce travel time between Islamabad and Gwadar Port. Another Rs2 billion has been set aside for the Naukundi-Mashkhel Road in Balochistan under CPEC.
Similarly, Rs7.8 billion has been allocated for the two sections of M-8 Motorway in Makran and Kalat divisions of Balochistan. M-8, linking Sindh with Gwadar and several sections of this east-west motorway, is already operational.
Also, over Rs6 billion has been allocated for different projects to connect Gilgit with Chitral to provide an all-weather CPEC corridor in the northern parts of the country.
About Rs1.4 billion has been set aside for the Havelian-Thakot section of Karakoram Highway, an extension of CPEC’s Hazara Motorway.
The government has also kept Rs6 billion for upgrading the existing N-25 highway into a double carriageway. The road links Karachi with Gwadar, Quetta and Pak-Afghan border point Chaman in Balochistan.
THE ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON THE CHINA ECONOMIC NET
Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2022.
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