China has agreed to finance Eastbay Expressway, connecting Gwadar Port and its free zone directly to highway, with Rs 15 billion interest-free loan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said Chairman Gwadar Port Authority (GPA), Dostain Khan Jamaldini.
The proposed project was endorsed in the 6th Joint Co-operation Committee (JCC) meeting held between Pakistan and China in Beijing, said the Chairman GPA during a briefing before the Senate Standing Committee on Ports and Shipping.
The committee met with Mohammad Ali Khan Saif in the chair here on Wednesday. The 19-kilometre controlled expressway would be constructed in two and half years, while the contract would be awarded to a Chinese company as per the agreement. The groundbreaking is scheduled to be held in next February, Jamaldini added.
The letter of exchange has been signed between EAD and the Chinese side during the preparatory meeting of the 6th JCC, which was later endorsed. Gwadar Eastbay Expressway will be a 6-lane thoroughfare with a 2-way railways track.
About 5 kilometres is offshore bypassing the existing town, which would provide immediate and uninterrupted connectivity to Gwadar port.
He further said that China has agreed to construct Gwadar Airport with a 100 percent grant, first ever in the history for which design would be prepared jointly.
However, after the completion, the operational control of the airport would be handed over to Civil Aviation. The chairman GPA further said under the CPEC, China would provide Rs 1 billion for vocational training institute in Gwadar, which would train around 600 students per annum.
The committee had earlier recommended reviewing/ amending the prevailing laws/rules and comprehensive legislation for transparent selection/ appointment of the chairman as well as members of the KBT Board. Chairman Karachi Port Trust (KPT) said that amendment in KPT Act has forwarded to the Law Ministry.
The secretary Ports and Shipping revealed that 500 million gallons of polluted water per day is flowing into the Arabian Sea, affecting fisheries in Karachi.
Senator Taj Haider said the government of Sindh has initiated several water projects worth Rs 12 billion. He further said chief minister Sindh has signed an agreement during the 6th JCC through which a Chinese company would work here for purifying 390 million gallons water per day.
The chairman GPA said that a plant for preparing two million water per day was set up in Gwadar; however, it worked for only two months, purifying 0.2 million gallon water per day. He said that due to a technical fault, the plant has been non-functional. Jamaldini said that water scarcity is a big issue in Gwadar.