ISLAMABAD: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) cleared three development projects with a cost of Rs9.2 billion and recommended two projects worth Rs130 billion to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) for further consideration.
The CDWP meeting was presided over by Planning Commission deputy chairman Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan in which projects related to health and transport and communications were presented.
A health project, “Strengthening the existing capacity of NIH for effective response against the Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan” worth Rs450 million was presented by the Ministry of health. The revised project was proposed to be financed through the financial support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Group funds through the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) under the grant implementation agreement.
The project envisages strengthening the public health system and diagnostic capacity in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan for improving the public health surveillance and response system to help mitigate the impact of such disease and burden on the poor and vulnerable population of the country. The project was approved under foreign aid.
Similarly, four projects of transport and communications were also presented in the meeting. The first project, “Construction of Raad from Sibi-Talli (20km) and Kohlu-Rakhni (80km)” worth Rs6.066 billion was approved in the meeting.
The forum observed that the original project was approved during the last financial year at an estimated cost of Rs4 billion. The project was approved at Rs6 billion at 50:50 cost-sharing between the federal and provincial governments.
The second project, “Revised PC-I for the rehabilitation of KPT and Rail connectivity project (Phase-I)” worth Rs2.65 billion was also approved.
The revised project envisages rehabilitation of the existing track of critical section of Pakistan Railways from KPT to Karachi Cantt and the provision of a new track for connectivity with ML-I.
The existing track on the section has outlived its designed life for long. The rails laid are 75R, 90BSS, and 90R types that are over-aged and of obsolete type and sleepers are mostly wooden and steel trough, which is mostly unserviceable.
The proposed scope involves CTR works to be carried out with 54kg rails and modern 2,750mm sleepers and W-14 type elastic fastenings. This design has been selected with the intention that in case the ML-1 project is materialised, these rails and sleepers/fittings could be accommodated being of the same design to have a uniform track infrastructure.
The third project of transport and communication, “Punjab Arterial Roads Improvement Programme (PARIP)” worth Rs129.9 billion was referred to Ecnec for further approval.
The location of the project is Bahawalnagar district, Bahawalpur, Layyah, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh, Vehari, Okara, Pakpattan, Sahiwal, in Punjab.
The executing agency of the project is Punjab Planning and Development Board. The sources of financing are the government of Punjab, Rs14.2 billion; the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Rs64.97 billion; and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Rs50.80 billion.
The project involves the construction of a 535km dual carriageway highway section between various cities in Punjab. The project would involve rehabilitation of the existing carriageway, as well as new construction of a second carriageway within the right of way available and acquired where needed.
The project will improve the transportation system through upgradation and dualisation of the highway network. The scope of works includes the construction of bridges, culverts, retaining walls, drainage works, roadside facilities, and allied works. The scope also includes land acquisition, resettlement, shifting of utilities, the establishment of a project management unit, quality control lab, a state-of-the-art asphalt mix design and quality assurance lab, and capacity-building.
The project will endeavour to build the capacity of the C&W Department through soft components such as training and financing different initiatives.
The government of Punjab was directed to share the principle of telling policy and O&M projection for information of the Ecnec.
The forum also considered the project, “Construction of Northern Section of Ring Road (Missing Link) from Warsak Road to Nasir Bagh Road” with the total cost of Rs16.489 billion and the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was directed to checkout effective implantation plan, explore the sustainability of proposed ring road by imposing toll collection and construction component need to be separated from the already approved project of land acquisition. The project will be reconsidered in the next CDWP meeting.
The forum also accorded a concept clearance to “Integrated Social Protection Development Programme (ISPDP)” submitted by the Finance Division at the cost of $627 million.
Planning secretary Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh, senior officials from the Planning Commission and the federal ministries/divisions representatives also participated in the meeting, while the representatives from the provincial governments participated in the meeting through video-conferences.