GWADAR: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Friday inaugurated the Eastbay Expressway project, and performed ground-breaking of seven more development projects in Gwadar.
A component of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the six-lane Eastbay Expressway would connect the Gwadar Port with the Makran Coastal Highway, also providing a link to Karachi.
The prime minister, who unveiled the plaques of the projects, expressed dissatisfaction over the slow pace of work. He broke ground for the Gwadar Seawater Desalination Plant by China Aid, Jingtal Gwadar Private Limited, Hangmei Lubricant Plant, Hangeng Agricultural Industrial Park, Gwadar Expo Centre and Gwadar Fertilizer Plant, besides distribution of 3,000 solar panels.
He also took an overview of the development projects, including the under-construction Gwadar Airport, which was being built under a Chinese grant and faced delays in completion.
Shehbaz said a desalination plant would be installed and a hospital had been built for the people of Gwadar, while 3,200 solar panels would be distributed among the families there. He said instead of wasting billions on the water reservoirs, a desalination plant should have been installed to cope with the water needs of Gwadar.
The prime minister said in order to avoid any more delay in the projects, he had ordered to strictly follow the timelines. He promised that due to the silting, the depth of Gwadar sea port was reducing and instructed for dredging to allow the traffic of heavy ships.
He suggested a G2G model for installation of the desalination plant and called for initiating talks with the Chinese side without any delay. Proposing a model to address the issue of power supply to Gwadar, he said the government should award a contract to any private company to provide solar panels to the households and bank loans should be arranged for them to pay back.
Proposing a second model, the prime minister said a solar plant of 100-150 megawatt should be installed in Gwadar to provide off-grid power supply to the people, who would be paying to the company as electricity bills.
Shehbaz Sharif also announced that in the first phase, the federal government would provide 2,000 boat engines to the fishermen through balloting. He announced that the federal government would also allocate funds for establishment of a university in Gwadar to ensure its timely completion.
The prime minister said the federal government would enrol another 500,000 poor people as beneficiaries of the BISP, with 100pc cover to the poor people of Gwadar.
He asked Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal to hold comprehensive talks with Chinese investors and prepare a clear roadmap for the resolution of all issues. Minister for Narcotics Control Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti and special assistants Tariq Fatemi and Fahd Hussain also attended the meeting.
Separately, addressing the officers attending the Command and Staff Course at the Command and Staff College, Quetta, PM Shehbaz Sharif said that the armed forces of Pakistan were the guarantors of peace, internal and external security, and regional stability, besides contributing to the global peace efforts. He paid rich tribute to the achievements and sacrifices of Pakistan armed forces.
On arrival, he laid a wreath at the Shuhada Monument to pay homage to the martyrs of Pakistan, according to ISPR.The PM said that Pakistan’s successes in the war against terrorism were unparalleled and duly acknowledged by the world. He said the armed forces had always done a commendable job in service of the nation during natural calamities. The armed forces of Pakistan are a very important state institution and the pride of the nation, he reiterated.
PM said that the country’s defence was sacred and Pakistan’s security, sovereignty and integrity would be ensured at all costs.“The nation owes its freedom to monumental sacrifices of our heroes, our martyrs,” the prime minister remarked.