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ISLAMABAD: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) Monday approved three development projects at a cost of Rs13 billion and recommended one project valuing Rs108.5 billion to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) for further consideration.

The CDWP met with Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan in the chair at P-Block Secretariat. Secretary Planning Abdul Aziz Uqaili, senior officials from the Planning Commission and federal ministries/divisions also participated in the meeting, while representatives from provincial governments participated through video conferences.

Projects related to governance, Higher Education Commission, mass media/CSTY, Physical Planning and Housing, and Transport and Communication sectors were presented in the meeting.

A project related to governance was presented in the meeting namely, “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Spending Effectivity for Enhanced Development (SPEED) (IDA Assisted)” at cost of Rs2572.500 million approved by the CDWP.

A project related to Higher Education Commission presented in the meeting namely, “Upgradation of University College of Engineering & Technology Mirpur into Mirpur University of Science & Technology, Mirpur (Prime Minister of Pakistan Directive)” worth Rs1890.024 million approved by the forum at its original approved cost and directions to complete by the end of the current financial year.

CDWP gives 6 projects worth Rs61.24bn the go-ahead

A project related to tourism was presented in the meeting namely, “Punjab Tourism for Economic Growth Project (PTEGP)” at cost of Rs8525 million approved by the CDWP. The scope of the project includes connectivity roads for improving access to and within the following tourism destinations and heritage sites: Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Rori Sahib, Gurdwara Sacha Sauda, Katas Raj Temples, Lahore Museum, Mankiala Stupa, Taxila Museum, Bibi Jawindi, Darbar Khawaja Ghulam Fareed, Qila Kohna Qasim Bagh, Rohtas Fort, Badshahi Mosque, and Taxila Buddhist Circuit. The project will provide support for destination planning and identification of scalable investment particularly for the private sector through Destination Investment and Management Plans (DIMP), Integrated Site Management Plans (ISMP), Museum Management Plans (MMP).

Other major components are tourism promotion, outreach, marketing, capacity building of relevant departments, training of 10,000 youth in tourism-related trades such as tour guide, tour operator, travel agent, interpreter, chef, cook, etc. public convenience facilities and other tourism-related infrastructure such as restrooms, tourist facilitation centers, food, health/emergency facilities, etc. The existing legal, regulatory, and institutional frameworks will also be reviewed and updated for creating enabling environment for the private sector.

A project related to Transport and Communications presented in the meeting namely, “Kharian to Rawalpindi Motorway” worth Rs108.5 billion was recommended to the Ecnec for further approval.

The NHA and RDA were directed to coordinate and come up with an agreed way forward for Rawalpindi Section Interchange.

The location of the project is District Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, in Punjab, Province and the executing agency is the National Highways Authority.

This project envisages construction of 117.20 km, 04 lanes access-controlled motorway from Kharian to Rawalpindi. This new motorway facility will be an extension of the currently operational Lahore Sialkot Motorway and under construction Sialkot Kharian Motorway. The project initiates from the junction interchange near Kharian on Sialkot Kharian Motorway and terminates at T Chowk near Rawalpindi/Islamabad.

The proposed motorway traverses parallel to the N-5, passing the populous areas of Jhelum, Mangla, Dina, Sohawa, Gujjar Khan, Mandra, and finally terminating near Rawat at T-Chowk (Junction of Islamabad Expressway with N-5).

Keeping in view the traffic volumes, the project motorway is designed as a 4-lane access controlled facility, which will be expanded to 6-lane as per Level of Service (LOS) requirements. It will include an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) for safer and more efficient use of the road. The design is based on NHA specifications. The alignment/route of the Motorway facility is selected keeping in purview future connectivity to other planned facilities or expansions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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