CHAGAI: The federal government is planning to connect the mineral-rich Chagai district with Gwadar seaport and neighboring Afghanistan through road networks.
According to sources in the National Highway Authority, the newly proposed Nokundi to Mashkel road would be extended to Panjgur district while another proposed road from Dalbandin to Chagai-cum-Ziyarat Balanoshi would be extended to Pak-Afghan border.
Sources said those projects were proposed by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, who belongs to Nokundi town of Chagai district.
Being located at a triangle between the borders with Iran and Afghanistan, Chagai district has significance for its mineral resources, including the world’s fifth largest deposit of cooper and gold in the Reko Diq area. This district also connects the country with Iran through road and rail network via Taftan border.
Mr Sanjrani told Dawn that the road between Nokundi and Mashkel would be constructed at a cost of about Rs7 billion. “This is a strategically important project which will not only create job opportunities but also make it possible to connect Chagai with Gwadar seaport and rest of Makran Division, he said.
Mr Sanjrani said another road was being constructed between Dalbandin and Chagai and Ziyarat Balanoshi at a cost of Rs9bn which would further be expanded to the Afghan border to open new avenues for trade and travel between the two countries.
The Senate chairman said keeping in view the mineral resources of the district, a university focusing on minerals and natural resources would be established in Nokundi at a cost of Rs8bn.
Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2021