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Gwadar port to become fully operational by 2030, NA committee told

Gwadar port to become fully operational by 2030, NA committee told

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms was informed here on Tuesday that the Gwadar port would become fully operational by 2030.

The committee which met under the chairmanship of Abdul Majeed Khan Khanan Khail discussed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) projects initiated for the development of Gwadar.

The operational control of the port has been handed over to China for 40 years. After becoming fully operational it would create more than one million jobs.

The committee was informed that the decision to give the Gwadar port to China was taken during the tenure of former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf in 2007.

Talking to Dawn after the meeting, member of the committee Sheikh Salahuddin said that according to the committee’s calculation the Gwadar port had been under the control of China for over 12 years and development work at the port was started soon after its control was handed over to China.

He said issues like power supply to Gwadar, water facility, Gwadar Airport, roads infrastructure, housing schemes and railway system in Gwadar were also discussed at the meeting.

The MNA said the committee was informed that the government had allocated funds for different development projects under the PSDP 2016-17.

The meeting was informed that non provision of electricity to the Gwadar port was hitting the $46 billion CPEC project.

The meeting observed that Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) were not doing well to meet development task of Gwadar.

The Ministry of Water & Power has claimed that an agreement has been signed with an Iranian company to provide an additional 100MW of electricity to Gwadar by the end of 2017. Furthermore, a new site has been allotted and payment has been made to the deputy commissioner of Gwadar for the construction of the 132KV (AIS) grid station at the deep sea Gwadar Port and an associated 132KV D/C transmission line.

However, officials of the GPA were of the view that the Gwadar port would not receive even a single electricity unit from whatever electricity would be obtained from Iran.

The Gwadar international airport is reportedly being constructed at a cost of $260 million, which was a full grant from the Chinese government. The airport would be capable of handling the largest of passenger planes, including A380 Boeing Jet.

The GPA officials said that the water problem of Gwadar was being solved with the construction of Sawad dam from where water would be provided to Gwadar through an 83km-long pipeline.

The issue of housing schemes in Gwadar was thoroughly discussed at the meeting and the committee recommended that the government of Balochistan should not issue the NoC (no objection certificate) to housing schemes.

The additional secretary of planning, development and reforms informed the committee that the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) Amendment Bill, 2010, would be vetted and finalised within 20 days by the Ministry of Law & Justice.

Courtesy : Dawn News



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