Dr. Abdul Hafeez, Advisor to PM Imran Khan attended the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today and approved billion-rupee development projects.
The projects included various road infrastructure projects including several sections the Indus Highway (N-55), rehabilitation, and upgradation of Jhaljao–Bela Road, Peshawar Northern Bypass as well as the Madian Hydropower Project, Gabral Kalam Hydropower Project, and a power evacuation project.
The committee also approved in-principle the ‘Locust Emergency and Food Security Project’ funded by World Bank (WB) and worth $200 million.
According to the report, the 221km N-55 Additional Carriageway Project (Shikarpur-Rajanpur section) will be completed at a total cost of Rs44.7bn — to be shared by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The project forecasts the construction of two additional lanes beside the widening of the existing two-lane carriageway. The Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) had allocated PKR 1 billion for the project in 2020-21.
Similarly, the construction of the Rajanpur-DG Khan Section as a four-lane highway of 9,121km would be completed at a total cost of PKR 33.17 billion with ADB contributing a share of PKR 28.52 billion.
The projects are of huge value, as besides saving travel time and vehicle operating costs of commuters, it will also ensure the efficient movement of trade, goods, and traffic in a relatively shorter time.
All of these development projects are suspected to be completed in three years whereas the National Highway Authority (NHA) will execute, operate, and maintain the projects.
The meeting also approved the 32km Peshawar Northern Bypass Project at a revised cost of PKR 21.33 billion. The total distance of the bypass road has been divided into three packages for construction purposes.
ECNEC also approved the construction of the 157MW Madian Hydropower Project, under the WB assisted Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Hydropower and Renewable Energy Development Programme at a total cost of PKR 79,374.85 million with Foreign Exchange Component (FEC) of PKR 57,339.33 million.
Whereas, the construction of 88 MW Gabral Kalam Hydropower Project was approved at an estimated cost of PKR 36.43 billion, including an FEC of PKR 8.81 billion.
According to the reports, reforms would be made in six areas including project identification and preparation of PC I, processing and approval of PC I, project management and staffing, the opening of a project assignment account, the procedure for release of funds, and monitoring and evaluation.