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Installation of China-funded 1.2 MGD water desalination plant at Gwadar Port approved

By Shafqat Ali | Gwadar Pro Sep 3, 2021

ISLAMABAD, September 3 (Gwadar Pro) - Pakistani Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Thursday afternoon said the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) had approved the installation of a 1.2 MGD desalination plant at Gwadar Port under a Chinese grant..

He was chairing a progress review meeting on the South Balochistan Development Plan here. The minister expressed satisfaction over the progress of the projects under the plan.

The Planning Minister directed completion of the desalination plant within 6 to 9 months to ease out populace of Gwadar.

Umar said that in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan for the development of unprivileged and less developed areas in Pakistan, concerted efforts have led to the successful completion of Phase I of the South Balochistan Development Package (SBDP), culminating in the listing of approved projects in Public Sector Development Programs (PSDP) 2021-22 and allocation of funds.

In order to ensure implementation of approved projects at an accelerated pace, Asad Umer reviewed the progress on Phase-II of the Southern Balochistan Development Plan and showed satisfaction with the progress on SBDP projects.

While reviewing the progress of new projects to be funded through Federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), the Planning Minister observed that 90% or Rs, 234.315 billion of the projects had been approved and included in Federal PSDP 2021-22 out of which Rs. 25.721 billion has been allocated in current fiscal year.

Likewisely, for various approved and the ongoing PSDP projects amounting Rs. 274.689 billion, allocation for current fiscal year amounts to Rs. 29.160 billion.

While reviewing the status of PC-I/IIs and corresponding financials, the Planning Minister observed that the current portfolio of Balochistan in federal PSDP has a thin spreading of funds and desired that a priority list of projects should be prepared so that fast-moving and strategic projects could be adequately funded for timely completion.

He also reviewed the progress on priority South Balochistan Development Programme (SBDP) projects, the Planning Minister was informed that NHA has commenced procurement for 3 Projects including construction of Hoshab – Awaran – Khuzdar Section of M-8 (Awaran – Naal 168 KM) at a cost of Rs. 32 billion, Hoshab-Awaran Section of M-8 (146 km) at a cost of Rs. 38 billion and Rehabilitation & Upgradation Awaran – Jhaljao Road (54.8 KM) at an estimated cost of Rs. 6.9 billion.

It was further informed that 7 Road sector projects amounting Rs. 24.39 billion and 7 water dams’ projects amounting Rs. 48.68 billion had been approved or included in PSDP 2021-22, and their award process is being expedited.

In order to address water shortages especially at Gwadar, funds have been approved for connecting the Shadi-Kaur dam with the Gwadar pipeline.

While reviewing the progress of 15 x projects to be funded through the Non-PSDP model at a cost of Rs. 20.376 billion, the Planning Minister observed that 78% of the projects have been approved while projects amounting to approximately Rs. 10.188 billion are in various stages of implementation in the current fiscal year.

In order to improve digital connectivity in Gwadar, Chaghi, Noukeshi, Kech; the Universal Service Fund (USF) had awarded contracts for districts at a cost of Rs. 3.2 billion, and the planned completion is by 24 July 2022.

He was further informed that the contract for High-Speed Broadband Connectivity along M-8 and National Highways is likely to be awarded by the 3rd quarter of 2021.

The Minister appreciated that efforts of Tele & Data coverage which will increase the livelihood opportunities to more than 0.5 million people of Southern Balochistan.

While reviewing the progress of projects to be funded through Public-Private Partnership model, the Planning Minister commented that private sector is the real driver of growth of countries across the globe and even today Sialkot-Kharian motorway has been inaugurated by Prime Minister through such model.

Planning Minister was informed that Supply of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to the population of Southern Balochistan is a priority project whereby Petroleum Division has prepared a draft summary for Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) consideration and circulated same for views or comments of all stakeholders.

Secretary Planning Hameed Yaqoob Sheikh, focal person South Balochistan Development Package, and senior officials attended the meeting.

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