Islamabad: Three major road projects in Pakistan were adopted during the eighth meeting of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Joint Working Group on Transport Infrastructure held virtually last week.
The two sides were led by Pakistan’s Communications Secretary Zafar Hasan and China’s Vice Minister of Transport Dai Dongchang. They received briefings on the railway projects, said an official statement issued here.
The representatives of the Foreign Office, CPEC Authority, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), railways and maritime affairs ministries, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan governments were also present during the meeting, the statement by the communication ministry said.
After deliberations, the meeting adopted construction of a motorway from Peshawar to Dera Ismail Khan (320 kilometres), Swat Expressway from Chakdara to Fatehpur Phase-II (182 kilometres) and Dir Expressway (30 kilometres), said the statement.
The Pakistan side gave briefing on Mainline (ML)-1 project, Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), Peshawar Circular Railway (PCR) and Quetta Mass Transit Project. Chitral-Shandoor-Gilgit, Nokundi-Mashkhel-Panjgur and Mirpur-Muzaffarabad-Mansehra projects were also brought under discussion.
During the meeting, Communication Secretary Zafar Hasan proposed the inclusion of the Chitral to Chakdara Highway (N-45), connecting the Swat Motorway to Col Sher Khan Interchange on M-1, as part of CPEC Western Route.
He also said that the Pakistan government was planning for the remaining sections of the Gwadar-Ratodero Motorway (M-8). He called for study of parts of the Karakoram Highway affected by landslide so that remedial measures could be devised to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
National Highway Authority (NHA) Chairman Sikander Qayyum informed the meeting that the Sukkur-Multan Motorway and the Havelian-Thakot Motorway projects had been completed in record time with quality construction.
He said 136-kilometre-long Thakot-Raikot section of the Karakoram Highway was an important link and that terms of reference (TORs) had been approved for hiring consultant for re-alignment. He stressed the need for the upgradation of DI Khan-Zhob section on a priority basis.
“CPEC is the vision of leadership of both the neighbouring countries,” Secretary Hasan told the participants. He termed the meeting meaningful and expressed the hope that it would remain successful in achieve its objectives.
Dai Dongchang said that the cooperation in the construction sector was expanding gradually 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 appreciated the progress and commitment of Pakistan on the CPEC projects. “China wants to enhance the scope of CPEC by including a few more projects,” he said, and described the video link meeting as result-oriented. Both the sides described the online meeting as successful and result-oriented.