ISLAMABAD-The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has deferred the approval of $9.2 billion worth CPEC project for up gradation of Mainline-1 (ML-1) of Pakistan Railways and establishment of dry port near Havelian.

Central Development Working Party (CDWP) meeting on Wednesday presided over by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan has underlined the space for improvement in the proposal and differed the project till next meeting.

The forum has asked the Ministry of Railways to upgrade the PC-I and present it again to the CDWP. Planning Secretary Zafar Hasan, senior officials from federal governments also participated in the meeting while representatives from provincial governments participated through video conference.

PC-I for only Phase-I of the project was placed on the agenda of the CDWP meeting dated 24-05-2018 wherein CDWP accorded conditional approval to the project.

The total estimated cost of the ML-I project is $9.25 billion. ML-I project is jointly funded by the government of Pakistan and China with the share of 10 percent and 90 percent respectively. The project has been divided in three packages and is likely to be initiated early next year and will be completed by 2029, sources said. It is worth to mention here that ML-I is under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) portfolio projects. Pakistan and China had signed a Framework Agreement on the project in May 2017.

The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) meeting approved three projects worth Rs1.04 billion and recommended one Position Paper worth Rs20.337 billion to ECNEC for consideration.

The Position Paper for Diamer Basha Dam project (Acquisition of land and Resettlement) worth Rs20.337 billion was referred to ECNEC for approval. Diamer Basha Dam Project is located on Indus River near Chilas (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa & Gilgit-Baltistan), 315 km u/s from Tarbela Dam and about 40 km downstream of Chilas Town. The estimated cost of the project is around $14 billion and it will have a gross water storage capacity of 8.1 MAF and power generation capacity of 4500 MW.

Work on Diamer Basha Dam Project is underway and an expenditure of Rs99.238 billion was incurred on the project till February 2020. This includes Rs93.9 billion for land acquisition for the project. Last week the planning commission was requested for provision of supplementary grant of around Rs21 billion for land acquisition and construction related work of the project.

Three projects related to Transport and Communications were presented in the meeting. First project presented by Ministry of Maritime Affairs namely “Establishment of Business Park at Korangi Fisheries Harbour” worth Rs784 million was approved by CDWP. The project envisages the development of Business Park to accommodate industrial units, offices and other associated infrastructure and services centered around one primary product or activity. The planned Business Park will be established on the 320 acres of land available within KPFHA boundary. Second project namely “Establishment of Cold Storage & Freezing Tunnel at Korangi Fisheries Harbour” worth Rs170.1 million and “Modification of Auction Hall of Korangi Fisheries Harbour” worth Rs94 million were approved by CDWP. All the above projects were fully funded under JICA government.