ISLAMABAD - Central Development Working Party on Wednesday approved 5 projects worth Rs141.93 billion and referred 3 projects worth Rs140.96 billion to ECNEC for further approval.

The CDWP meeting was held with Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar in the chair. The CDWP referred Peshawar Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit Corridor worth of Rs67.953 billion to ECNEC.

The projects presented to the CDWP for approval were related to agriculture and food, physical planning and housing, energy, transport and communications, health, information technology, and science and technology sectors. In addition, two position papers were presented in the meeting.

In transport and communication sector, the revised PC-I of Peshawar Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Project, with increased cost of 38 percent from Rs49.3 billion to Rs67.9 billion was presented to the meeting and was referred to the ECNEC. The BRT Red Line project in Karachi was on the agenda for the CDWP consideration. However, it was deferred till the next meeting. The total cost of the project is Rs65.6 billion.

In agriculture and food sector, upgradation of Arid Zone Research Centre and establishment of New Adaptive Research-cum-Demonstration Institute project worth Rs691.56 million was approved by the CDWP.

The project would focus on poverty alleviation through introduction of improved agricultural technologies in rehabilitant environment of the project areas. The research centres would also strengthen the linkages with provincial and international research organisations.

In physical planning and housing sector, the CDWP referred the project of Lahore Water and Wastewater Management Project worth Rs67.51 billion to ECNEC. The project envisages hiring consultants through project preparation special fund to carry out its activities of development, operation and management of water/wastewater treatment infrastructure/facilities.

In energy sector, project of 220 kV Head Faqirian substation along with 220 kV double circuit transmission lines from Head Faqirian to Ludewala was also forwarded to ECNEC for approval. The project worth Rs5.51 billion aims to improve power supply system including reliability and uninterrupted power supply.

In health sector, the project Strengthening of Monitoring and Surveillance of Health Systems was authorised for approval by the CDWP. The project worth Rs157.79 million aims to improve access to healthcare services by providing facilities at doorstep.

The meeting was also attended by Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, members and senior officials from federal and provincial governments.