CPEC meeting discusses construction of motorways, other projects

ISLAMABAD: The 8th meeting of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Joint Working Group on Transport Infrastructure was held via video link at Ministry of Communications here Monday.

After deliberations, the meeting adopted construction of motorway from Peshawar to DI Khan (320km), Swat Expressway from Chakdara to Fatehpur Phase-II (182km) and Dir Expressway (30km). Pakistani side gave briefing on ML-1 project, Karachi Circular Railway, Peshawar Circular Railway and Quetta Mass Transit Project. Chitral-Shandoor-Gilgit, Nokundi-Mashkhel-Panjgur and Mirpur-Muzaffarabad-Mansehra projects were also brought under discussion.

Secretary Communications Zafar Hassan said, CPEC is the vision of leadership of both the neighbouring countries. He proposed inclusion of Chitral to Chakdara Highway (N-45), connecting Swat Motorway (Chakdara to Col. Sher Khan Interchange on Motorway M-1), as part of CPEC Western route. He said, government of Pakistan was planning for remaining sections of Gwadar-Ratodero Motorway M-8. He desired study of those parts of Karakoram Highway, which are affected by the landslides, so that remedial measures could be devised to ensure smooth flow of traffic. Terming meeting meaningful, he hoped that the meeting will remain successful and achieve its objectives.

Addressing the meeting, Chinese Vice Minister on Transport DAI Dongchang said, friendship of China & Pakistan is higher than the mountains and it is being strengthened and deepened with the passage of time. He said, cooperation in construction sector is gradually expanding between the two countries, which will accelerate pace of development in Pakistan. He desired to realise CPEC schemes with quality construction through mutual cooperation. He termed video link meeting result oriented. He appreciated the progress and commitment of Pakistan on CPEC projects. He said, “China wants to enhance scope of CPEC by including a few more projects.”

Chairman National Highway Authority Capt. (R) Sikander Qayyum told the meeting that Sukkur-Multan Motorway and Havelian-Thakot Motorway projects are completed in record time frame with quality construction. He said, 136 KM long Thakot-Raikot section of Karakoram Highway is an important link and that TOR has been approved for hiring consultant for re-alignment. He stressed upon the need of upgradation of D.I.Khan-Zhob Section on priority

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Written by Sami Vohra
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