At a CDWP meeting presided over by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan, cleared three development projects with a cost of Rs. 9.168 billion and recommended two projects worth Rs. 130 billion to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) for further consideration.
Secretary Planning, Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh, senior officials from Planning Commission, and Federal Ministries/Divisions also participated in the meeting while representatives from Provincial Governments participated through video conferences. Projects related to Health and Transport & Communications were presented in the meeting.
A project related to Health was presented in the meeting namely “Strengthening the existing capacity of NIH for effective response against COVID 19 pandemic in Pakistan” worth Rs. 450 million was presented by MoNHSSRC. The revised project proposed to be financed through the financial support of Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Group funds through National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) under 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 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 all as foreign aid.
Four projects related to Transport & Communications were presented in the meeting. The First project presented namely “Construction of Raad from Sibi-Talli (20 km) and Kohlu – Rakhni (80 km)” is worth Rs. 6,066.960 million approved in the meeting. The forum observed that the original project was approved during LFY at an estimated cost of Rs. 4 billion. The project was approved at Rs. 6,066.960 million at 50:50 cost-sharing between Federal and Provincial Governments. The ACSD GoB was directed to facilitate the department of C&W in capacity building.
The second project of T&C was considered and approved is important for the people of Karachi namely “Revised PC-I for Rehabilitation of KPT & Rail Connectivity Project (Phase-I)” worth Rs. 2,652.016 million approved by the forum. The revised Project envisages rehabilitation of existing track of critical section of PR from KPT to Karachi Cantt and provision of new track for connectivity with ML-I.
The existing track on the section has outlived its designed life for a long. The rails laid are 75R, 90BSS, and 90R types that are overaged 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 54-kg rails and modern 2750mm sleepers and W-14 type elastic fastenings.
This design has been selected with the intention that in case ML-1 Project is materialized these rails and sleepers/fittings could be accommodated being of the same design to have a uniform track infrastructure.
The third project of T&C presented namely “Punjab Arterial Roads Improvement Programme (PARIP)” is worth Rs. 129,944.155 million referred to ECNEC for further approval. The location of the project is District Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, Layyah, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh, Vehari, Okara, Pakpattan, and Sahiwal. The executing agency of the project is Planning and Development Board, Punjab.
The sources of financing are the government of Punjab (Rs. 14,163.91 million), Asian Development Bank (ADB) (Rs. 64,972.08 million), and Asian Infra Investment Bank (AIIB) (Rs. 50,808.16 million). The project involves the construction of 535 km of dual carriageway highway section between various cities in the Punjab province. 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 up-gradation and dualization 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 & Quality Assurance Lab, Capacity Building.
The project will endeavor to build the capacity of the C&W department through soft components like 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 was also considered the project namely “Construction of Northern Section of Ring Road (Missing Link) from Warsak road to Nasir Bagh Road” with the total cost of Rs. 16,489.198 million and the Government of KP was directed to checkout effective implantation plan, explore the sustainability of the 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 re-considered in the next CDWP meeting.
The forum also accorded a concept clearance to “Integrated Social Protection Development Program (ISPDP)” submitted by the Finance Division at the cost of 627 million US dollars.