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ISLAMABAD: The World Bank (WB) has rated the overall implementation progress of the “Khyber Pass Economic Corridor (KPEC) project” worth $506.78 million moderately unsatisfactory.

The Project Development Objective (PDO) was to expand economic activity between Pakistan and Afghanistan by improving regional connectivity and promoting private sector development along the Khyber Pass corridor.

However, progress towards achievement of PDO, as well as, overall implementation progress is moderately unsatisfactory, official documents of the bank revealed.

NHA to build Khyber Pass Economic Corridor soon

Documents further stated that significant progress has been achieved by National Highways Authority (NHA) under Component-1; however, the implementation pace needs to be increased considering the past delays. Initial selection/ prequalification of bidders have been completed, while preparation of bid documents is also quite advanced. The NHA has prepared a revised implementation schedule, and plans to invite bids from pre-qualified firms by the last week of September 2023.

The Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report for the Southern Link Road has been drafted and is now going through review and approval process.

The most critical activity under this component, i.e., the preparation of the Spatial Master Plan for Western Greater Peshawar (SMP-WGP) is in advance stage of completion, with spatial diagnosis and rapid assessment of clusters’ competitiveness completed.

The KPEC Integrated Development Plan, feasibility and technical studies for strategic investments and implementation plan is on schedule to be completed by 30th September 2023. The SDU PIU under KP Planning and Development Department has also started work in parallel on a number of pre-identified agreed activities. These include the (i) feasibility study for establishment of border bazaar, (ii) feasibility study for an International Bus Terminal, (iii) feasibility study for setting up a Pak-Afghan Economic zone, and (iv) setting up of an Inclusive Business Development Park in collaboration with KP Economic Zone Management Company.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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