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Govt clears Lahore-Sialkot motorway link worth Rs52.7b

Govt clears Lahore-Sialkot motorway link worth Rs52.7b

ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday cleared one and a half dozen new development projects costing Rs104 billion including construction of a motorway for a fast track link between Lahore and the country’s export hub of surgical and sports goods.

The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) – a body mandated to approve up to Rs3 billion projects and to recommend the higher cost mega projects for the final approval of Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) – sanctioned these projects.

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It cleared the 91-kilometer long Lahore-Sialkot motorway for the final approval of the Ecnec but the Rs52.7 billion cost is subject to changes. The CDWP Chairman and Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal had objections over the interchanges on the motorway, directing to construct the interchanges on main points.

The CDWP also cleared, in principle, a Rs26.7 billion PhD scholarship programme under US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor (Phase-I) and establishment of sub-campuses of public sector universities at District Level (Phase-I) with a cost of Rs4.6 billion.

The projects recommended to Ecnec include construction of 100 dams – 20 in Balochistan package-III, construction of Lahore Sialkot Motorway, PhD Scholarship Program under US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor, establishment of sub-campuses of public sector universities at district level (Phase1) and Southern Punjab Poverty Alleviation Project.

The projects approved and recommended to Ecnec are in the sectors of water resource, transport and communication, Higher Education Commission and devolution and area development.

The CDWP also approved construction of a road from Kangar Paien to Seri Sher Shah and construction of black top road from Danah to Summa Karagha (N-18) District Abbotabad and Widening / Construction of Road from Seri Abdul Ghafoor House to Batkhanala via Chanali, District Abbotabad.

In Physical Planning and Housing sector, the CDWP approved construction of Plan House at Administrative Sector F-5/2, Islamabad with cost of Rs144.7 million.

The CDWP approved establishment of AJK Women University, Baagh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir with cost of Rs886.6 million, provision of new facilities and infrastructure for Main Campus of University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, at a cost of Rs1.2 billion, strengthening of academic and professional facilities at University of Peshawar with cost Rs820.63 million and strengthening of the Institute of Biotechnology at Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan with cost Rs588.9 million.

The CDWP also approved strengthening and expansion of Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS), Quetta with cost Rs1.1 billion and strengthening of academic and research programs at National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Islamabad with a cost of Rs747.7 million. However, this project cost is likely to be revised downward.

Ahsan Iqbal directed the HEC to formulate a consolidated plan and set proper guidelines for procurement in all the universities of the country, in order to save money. Giving an observation on the project for ‘establishing university campus or sub campus in every district of country’, he said that it will benefit students belonging to far flung areas of Pakistan. He said that this project will provide equal opportunities to the students of the area to acquire higher education. He directed HEC to establish a task force to review the disciplines being studied in different universities and start programs that will help them while looking for employment opportunities.

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In devolution and area development sector, Southern Punjab Poverty alleviation Project (SPPAP), worth Rs4.7 billion was referred to Ecnec. In Culture, Sports and Tourism sector, the CDWP approved construction of an auditorium at Pakistan Academy of Letters, Islamabad with cost Rs92.8 million.

The CDWP also approved Position Papers of Channelization of Deg Nullah in Water Resource and feasibility study for Karachi Bus Rapid Transit (Red Line Project) with cost Rs1.3 billion.

The CDWP approved concept clearances of two projects of which one is Women Transport Service in selected Districts of KP and exploring assistance for Pakistan Audit and Accounts Academy Lahore from International donors.

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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