ISLAMABAD -  The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Wednesday approved 15 development projects of transport & communication, energy and water sectors with total cost of Rs261.2 billion.

The Ecnec, which met under the chair of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, has considered the summaries of various ministries and divisions. The ECNEC has approved Green Line Bus Rapid Transit System Karachi, from KESC Power House Chowrangi (Abdullah Chowk), Surjani to Central Business District Karachi at a revised total cost of Rs24,604.060 million. The upward revision in cost is due to increase of length of corridor from 17.80 km to 27.45 km, increase in number of stations from 22 to 35, and increased length of elevated portion from 3.45 km to 9.4 km. The project aims at construction of 27.45 km long (18.05 km at grade & 9.40 km elevated) 2-lanes, each lane 3.5m wide, dedicated signal free Bus Rapid Transit System. The project would benefit 400,000 passengers every day in Karachi.

In consideration of proposal from Ministry of Communications, the Ecnec approved Land Acquisition for Faisalabad Abdul Hakeem Motorway M-4 (138 km) at a revised cost of Rs4,220.872 million. The project envisages acquisition of 3,139.5 acres of land for construction of 138 km long, 4-lane Faisalabad – Abdul Hakeem Motorway (M-4) having right of way (ROW) corridor of 100m.

The Ecnec also considered and approved project regarding Improvement and Construction of Jalkhad – Chilas Road at revised total cost of Rs7,605.205 million. The project envisages improvement and construction of 71.05 km long Jalkhad – Chilas road to widen it to 7.3m carriageway with 1m wide shoulders on either side. The scope of work also includes construction of 11 bridges, 95 culverts, 28 causeways, slope protection and drainage works. Road project is the last segment of Mansehra – Naran – Jalkhad road.

The Ecnec accorded approval for the project for Dualisation & Improvement of Existing N-50 from Yarik – Sagu – Zhob including Zhob Bypass (210 km) at a total cost of Rs76,486.231 million. The project envisages construction of 210 km 4-lanes controlled access highway starting from Yarik on N-55 to Zhob on N-50 via Sagu, Daraban, Mughal Kot, Manikhuwa as part of western route of CPEC.

Proposal for Rehabilitation of NHA Highway KKH (N-35) between Thakot – Raikot (remaining length of 136.4 km damaged road between 191 km –471 km) damaged due to unprecedented monsoon rains and flash floods in 2010, was also approved by Ecnec at a total cost of Rs8,341.136 million.

The proposal for Construction of 2-Lanes Highway from Basima to Khuzdar (Length 106 km) was approved at a cost of Rs19,188.435 million. Project aims at construction of 106 km 2-lanes road to a standard 7.3m wide single carriageway with 2.5m shoulders on either side from Basima to Khuzdar on new alignment at a distance of 100m from the edge of the shoulder of existing road. The project also includes land acquisition, construction of bridges, culverts, retaining structures, drainage & erosion works along with allied facilities.

The proposal regarding Dualisation of Indus Highway N-55 Sarai Gambila to Kohat Section, was also approved by Ecnec at a cost of Rs30,130.00 million. Under the project, dualisation of existing 128 km long 2 lane (7.3m wide) Indus Highway (N-55) from Sarai Gambila to Kohat would be carried out to make it a 4-lanes facility.

The Ecnec approved proposal of Ministry of Water & Power for 500 kV Chakwal Substation at a revised cost of Rs6,709.66 million. The project envisages installation of new 500 kV substation at Chakwal along with associated transmission lines to meet the growing demand of the areas including Chowah Saidan Shah, Gujar Khan, Dandot, Pinanwal, Talagang, Tamman, Padshahan and Chakri under the jurisdiction of IESCO.

The Ecnec approved proposal for the 7th Secondary Transmission Line and Grid Stations (GEPCO), covering 6 districts of Punjab ie Gujranwala, Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Hafizabad and Mandi Bahauddin, at a total cost of Rs7,528.06 million. The project aims to provide adequate facilities for reliable and stable supply of electricity to meet growing demand of domestic, commercial, industrial and agricultural customers of Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GEPCO). Under the project work construction of 8 new grid stations and transmission lines (190 km), addition of 15 power transformers and capacitors at grid stations, and transformation capacity addition (661.5 MW) would be carried out.

The project for Evacuation of Power from 2x660 MW Thar Coal Based SSRL/SECL Power Plant at Thar was approved by Ecnec at a revised total cost of Rs21,782.99 million. Main objective of the project is evacuation of power from 2x660 MW Thar Coal power project in the national grid to up-country load centre. The related work includes 275-km long 500 kV HVAC double circuit transmission line from power plant to 500 kV Matiari Switching station, and extension at 500 kV Matiari Switching station for construction of two line bay.

The Ecnec also approved project for Enhancement in Transformation Capacity of NTDC System by Extension and Augmentation of Existing Grid Stations, covering 28 districts throughout the country, at a total cost of Rs16,526.49 million. Project aims to enhance existing 500 kV and 220 kV grid stations at various locations. The project will result in addition of 7,146 MVA in the system at 28 existing grid stations and is expected to reduce transmission losses by 40.7 MW.

The project for Evacuation of Power from 2x1100 MW K-2/K-3 Coastal Power Plant near Karachi was also approved by Ecnec at revised total cost of Rs7,501.4 million. Objective of the project is evacuation of 2x1100 MW Power from K-2/K-3 Nuclear Power Plants to the National Grid envisaged to be installed at coastal area near Karachi.

The Ecnec considered and approved proposal regarding Compensation to affectees of Mirani Dam (EL-264 to 271.4 for Houses & EL-245 to 271.4 for fruit and non-fruit Plants) at a cost of Rs. 3,500 million, to be borne by the Federal Government and Government of Baluchistan on a 50:50 basis. The Ecnec also approved the project for construction of infrastructure and allied works for Metro Bus Services Peshawar Morr – New Islamabad Airport at a total cost of Rs16,427.880 million. The project envisages construction of 25.6 Km long dedicated 2-lanes signal free corridor of 9.60~10.40 meter width with normal sections for Bus rapid transport system, to connect the already-constructed Metro bus station at Peshawar Morr to the new Islamabad International Airport. The Ecnec also considered and approved proposal for Preliminary Design Study of upgradation/rehabilitation of Main Line (ML-I) and construction of New Dry Port/Cargo Handling Facility at Havelian (Baldher), district Haripur at a cost of Rs10,641.634 million. The project envisages hiring of consultants for carrying out preliminary design, preparing bidding documents for EPC contract and hiring of Engineering and Consultancy services for review and vetting of earlier work carried out by the first consultants for the priority project of ML-I, besides establishment of Havelian Dry Port.