Gwadar International Airport, which will be capable of handling the largest of passenger planes including the Airbus A380 Boeing jet, is being constructed at a cost of US$ 260 million at Gwadar, Balochistan province.
The amount for the airport is a full grant from the Chinese government, the Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was informed in its recently held meeting here.
Additionally, the Chinese government has given a grant of $ 10 million dollars for building the Pakistan-China Vocational and Technical Training Institute aimed at helping local population of Gwadar getting skills and employment.
The Chairman, Gwadar Port Authority also informed the committee that the water problem of Gwadar was being sorted out with the construction of Sawad dam where water would be provided to Gwadar through a 83 km pipeline and the water shortage of Gwadar would be resolved in that manner.
A briefing was also given on the various financial incentives being provided to potential investors in the Special Economic Zone of Gwadar as a result of which there was growing interest among investors both in Pakistan and abroad for investment in the Special Economic Zone.
With these new incentives, the Gwadar port is also being activated and three new ships will arrive from China this month, bringing construction material.
Regarding the provision of electricity for Gwadar, the committee was informed that as a result of an agreement with an Iranian company, an additional 100 MW of electricity would be available for Gwadar by the end of 2017.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee Senator Mushahid Hussain said that the Parliamentary Committee in its working was guided by three key principles namely consensus through consultation with all political parties and provinces, transparency in projects and decision making and inclusive development, with a focus on implementation in letter and spirit of the decisions taken at All-Parties Conference held at the Prime Minister’s House on May 28, 2015.
Among these decisions, building of Western route on priority basis was agreed unanimously by all leaders and political parties, plus the rapid development of Gwadar port while ensuring that the rights of the citizens of Gwadar are fully protected.
The chairman NHA briefed the committee in detail regarding the progress being made on the Western route which he said would be completed by August 2018.
Work on it was already underway at different segments and this would initially be a modern 4-lane highway which would eventually be upgraded into a 6-lane motorway, for which planning was underway.
Allocations have already been made and construction is underway on the fast track for the construction of the Western route which, the Chairman, NHA underlined would be completed a year earlier than the Eastern route since priority was being accorded to the Western route in accordance with the decision of All Parties Conference of May 28, 2015 as well as the directive of the Prime Minister issued in January 2016 on constructing the Western route on priority.
The Committee directed the Ministry of Planning and Development to prepare a projection of requirement for electricity for Gwadar and Balochistan as a whole. -APP