ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) Wednesday approved the construction of the Hyderabad- Sukkur motorway at the revised PC-1 cost of Rs 191.471 billion.

The 306-kilometre long motorway would be constructed on Built Operate Transfer (BOT) basis with the provision of capital and operational VGF [Viability Gap Funding] to improve the financial viability of the project. The ECNEC meeting held here under the chairmanship of Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin was informed that the project was expected to be completed in 30 months.

Meanwhile, the ECNEC also approved the Gomal Zam Multipurpose Project (2nd Revised PC-I) at the total cost of Rs25.928 billion. The forum also granted the ex-post facto approval of the expenditures and financial closure of the project by relaxing the direction and decision of the earlier meeting of ECNEC held on August 28, 2013.

The project is located on the Gomal River in South Waziristan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The main objective of the project is to harness floodwater and provide an assured irrigation water supply of 848 cusecs to irrigate 191,139 acres of land, including 28,053 acres of additional land, which falls under the Waran Canal System and to generate 17.4 MW of electricity.

WAPDA is responsible for the execution and implementation arrangement of the project. The COVID-19 Response and Other Natural Calamities Control Program (Sindh Component) was approved at the total cost of Rs20.822 billion without any foreign exchange component.

Sindh’s health department will be responsible for sponsoring and executing the program.

The project will be completed on an equally shared financing basis by the government of Sindh and the federal government through the PSDP.

It is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. The project envisages the strengthening of the provincial health system to effectively respond to the pandemics at THQ and DHQ hospitals. ECNEC also decided that any escalation in the cost of the project will be borne by the provincial government.

ECNEC also gave approval to the 30 MW Hydro Power Project Ghowari (2nd Revised) at the total cost of Rs16.399 billion. The project is located on the left bank of Shayok River near Ghowari village in Ghnache in Gilgit Baltistan. The project is expected to be completed in four years.

The 20 MW Hydro Power Project Hazel, Gilgit was also approved by ECNEC at the revised PC-I cost of Rs 12.921 billion. The project will be executed by Water and Power Department, Gilgit Baltistan.

The ECNEC also approved the Rainee Canal Project (Phase-1: 110 KM), revised PC-I at the total cost of Rs 20.5338 billion. WAPDA is responsible for the execution of the project which will irrigate 412,400 acres in Phase I at a design discharge of 5,500 cusecs in districts of Kashmore, Ghotki, Sukkar, and Khairpur.

The construction of Hoshab-Awaran–Khuzdar Section of M-8 Project; Section 2: Awaran-Naal, length: 168 Km was also approved by ECNEC at the rationalised cost of Rs 32.244 billion. The National Highway Authority will be responsible for executing the project.

The scope of work includes construction of bridges, box culverts, retaining walls/ toe walls, shoulders, along with drainage and allied works. The project is expected to complete in 42 months.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Roads Rehabilitation Project “Under PKHA Portfolio” was also approved by ECNEC at the revised PC-I cost of Rs 28.156 billion. The location of the project is Khyber Pakhtunkwa Province, South, Central and Eastern Regions.

The revised PC-I of the project envisages rehabilitation of 274 km of existing provincial highway network of Khyber Pakhtunkwa as compared to original scope of 214 Km. It is expected that the project will complete by 2023.

The chair, while discussing the projects, directed Planning Commission to prioritise projects that are strategic in nature or can be completed in a shorter period of time to save the exchequer from cost over runs and unnecessary delays in the completion of projects.

The Feasibility and Dualization of Mardan-Swabi Road, revised was also approved by ECNEC at the revised PC-I cost of Rs13.024 billion. Communication and Works Department through Pakhtunkhwa Highways Authority will be the executing agency of the project. The project is expected to complete by 2022-2023.

The writer is a member of staff
The reporting desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk

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