ISLAMABAD: Four mega road projects worth more than $3.3bn have been added to the $62bn China-Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC).
According to a local newspaper, the decision was agreed at the fifth meeting of the CPEC transport working group, held in Karachi on Saturday, 23 September. Detailed designs for the roads will be completed by November, whereas, land acquisition has already begun. A 290km road, estimated to cost $200m, will link two of Pakistan's main east-west highways: the N40 at Nok Kundi and Panjgur on the N-85. Another project, estimated to cost around $2.5bn, will run 200km from Mirpur, through Muzaffarabad to Mansehra. A 354km road, estimated to cost $430m, will connect Gilgit to Shindor and Chitral. Meanwhile, the first section of the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit corridor project will be constructed by Maqbool-Calson-China Engineering (MCCE). The road projects would mainly be funded by the Chinese government. However, some funding would also be provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Investment Bank (AIB) and French Development Agency (AFD). The ADB will provide a loan worth US$335 million while the AIB and AFD will provide $75 million apiece for the project.
Published in Daily Times, October 5th 2017