The CDWP met on Monday and approved 19 projects with an estimated cost of Rs142.3 billion.
Planning Secretary Zafar Ali Shah presided over the meeting and approved 13 projects worth Rs34.83 billion. The CDWP recommended another six projects costing Rs107.505 billion to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) for formal approval.
The CDWP currently has the authority to approve projects costing up to Rs10bn. However, projects with higher estimated costs must be approved by Ecnec.
The ‘Muzaffarabad-Mansehra Road’ project, worth Rs44.72bn, is one of the projects that has been referred to Ecnec for approval. The project envisages the construction of a 26.6km road connecting Mansehra in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The proposed project involves the construction of 11 bridges and two tunnels on the left bank of the Jhelum and Kunar rivers. The resulting road is expected to provide an important link for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, connecting it to AJK’s industrial city of Mirpur.
The expressway is designed as a four-lane divided controlled-access road, intended to provide fast connectivity between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Kashmir.
The National Highway Authority (NHA) will be executing a 50km mountainous road project to link Neelum Valley in AJK to Jalkhad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mansehra district.
The project aims to promote sports through infrastructure development by establishing or upgrading 250 mini-sports complexes across the country through 50:50 cost-sharing between federal and provincial governments.
The provincial government will be responsible for making land available for the construction of mini-complexes through the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP).
The CDWP also recommended the establishment and upgrading of 250 vocational training institutes throughout the country, including in AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan and the newly-merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The project seeks to train 300,000 youth through job skills.
Accordingly, the construction of a new bridge with approach roads between Sukkur-Rohri over the Indus River at the cost of Rs10.28bn was also recommended to the Economic Coordination Council for approval. Sukkur is the third-largest city in Sindh situated on the west bank of the Indus River, while Rohri is one of the biggest railway hubs in Pakistan. At present, there are three road river crossings between Rohri and Sukkur city.
The CDWP also recommended for approval of another Rs11.58bn worth of road projects for compensation of Rajanpur-D.G. Khan section as the four-lane highway and dualisation, rehabilitation of D.G. Khan- D.I. Khan of N-55.
The CDWP also approved the construction of the second circuit stringing of the 132KV transmission line from Jiwani to Gwadar at a cost of Rs2.323bn.
The meeting approved the proposal to establish the University of North Waziristan at a cost of Rs2bn. They also approved the proposal to set up a Knowledge Park in Islamabad and the ‘Network of Digital Libraries Capitals’ at a cost of Rs6.9bn.
This project has been proposed by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to create a state-of-the-art Knowledge Park and develop a digital library network in the federal capital and all provincial capitals. The meeting also considered a feasibility study for the metro bus route in Quetta.