ISLAMABAD: The construction of a road network under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project would help address decades-old grievances of the people of Balochistan and create economic opportunities for the rural population in the province, CPEC Authority chairman retired Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said on Saturday.
Talking to the media during a visit to Hoshab-Awaran road, which is being built under CPEC, he said that development of roads in Balochistan was a priority of the government to improve Gwadar port’s connectivity with other parts of the country.
Over 70pc work on Baseema-Khuzdar road completed
Over 70 per cent development work on the Baseema-Khuzdar road has been completed, he said. The project is of significance as it would connect the Gwadar port with the rest of the country and would be completed by the end of current year.
Prime Minister Imran Khan would soon visit Gwadar and witness the progress made on different projects started in the second phase of CPEC, Mr Bajwa said. Development of Gwadar port was a top priority of the PM, he added.
The CPEC Authority chairman said the government was working aggressively to address the issues of the people in Balochistan by ensuring basic civic amenities including education, health, drinking water, electricity and communications.
In order to uplift the under-developed areas of Balochistan, the government under the special directives of Mr Khan had announced a Rs600 billion package comprising different schemes in collaboration with the federal and provincial governments as well as the public-private partnership model. Currently work on 80 schemes was in progress.
He said in order to electrify the remote areas of the province, work on a 150MW project in Gwadar was also in progress. Work on different projects related to clean drinking water was also in progress, he added.
“Over 31 dams would be constructed in nine under-developed districts of Balochistan. Construction work on 15 dams has already started while work on the remaining 16 would begin soon,” he added.
The CPEC Authority’s chairman said that work on Gwadar Airport was under way. The airport would have the capacity for landing of big cargo aircraft and would be equipped with the latest communication techniques for fastest port operation.
“Gwadar port will bring economic revolution and social prosperity in the province. Remote regions would be developed for bringing them at a par with other developed areas of the country,” he added.
Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2021