Minister vows to provide water, power to Gwadar in six months
ISLAMABAD – The government is considering the option of supplying the electricity from the captive power plant of the Gwadar Free zone to the port city to resolve the issue of power supply to Gwadar city.
Minister for Interior and Planning, Development & ReformS, Ahsan Iqbal, while expressing reservations to non-availability of water and power in Gwadar port city, has directed the concerned authority to explore all possible options to resolve the issues immediately.
He expressed these views while presiding a high level meeting on Gwadar projects at Planning Commission, Islamabad on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by Secretary Planning Shoaib Ahmad Saddiqui, Chief Secretary Balochistan Aurangzeb Haque, senior officials from line ministries and government of Balochistan, Chinese Embassy. Officials of Gwadar Development Authority and Ministry of Energy briefed the participants on the Gwadar Master City Plan, power projects and water supply issues of Gwadar.
The minister was very upset with the performance of the provincial government and said that now time has come to provide water and electricity to the people of Gwadar within six months, a source privy to the meeting told The Nation. The minister said “I don’t know where you get it but I want to make it sure that people of Gwadar should get the water and power supply within six months,” said the source.
The meeting discussed the possibility of supplying electricity from the 30MW captive power plant of Gwadar free zone to Gwadar port city. The power plant is small and is likely to start generation soon, since the free zone is not ready therefore the electricity can be used by the residents of Gwadar, the source said. The supply of power from the captive power plant will be a temporary arrangement and the government will try to install its own small power plants. Gwadar coal plant of 300MW is under execution but it will take time to be operational therefore it has been decided to explore the options for the small power generation plants to provide immediate relief to the consumers.
Meanwhile, a press statement issued here stated that people of the Gwadar are the top priority in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and instructed for immediate resolution of water and power supply issues in the port city.
Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that the plan for Gwadar city must be a comprehensive document, including all the aspects of a modern port city and in line with requirements of CPEC. He instructed that the plan should ensure provision of an integrated rail, road and air transport infrastructure system. Minister further highlighted that the Gwadar Master City Plan must cover the present and future maritime trends and assessment of other regional ports.
“To make Gwadar, a competitive port, the plan should come up with solutions,” minister remarked while commenting on the briefing by GDA. He also instructed to induct a senior and qualified expert on regional and urban planning in the review committee made for this project.
Minister also directed that mushroom growth of private sector residential area be discouraged prior to completion of Gwadar City Master Plan.
Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan, a one year project at the cost of $4 million (Chinese Grant) was launched in August 2017. It envisages preparation of a detail master plan including city planning and urban design, city transportation planning and design, energy, technology and connectivity infrastructure and policies, port city economic planning, community participation & empowerment, disaster risk management and integrated business development plan for city and port etc.
The participants further discussed in detail the issues of water and power supply in Gwadar City. Federal Minister, Ahsan Iqbal maintained that people of Gwadar are the top priority, and instructed that maximum benefits be offered to local community under CPEC. Minister directed that besides expediting CPEC projects of Water and Power Plant, alternate arrangements should be made to address the problem on war footing. Officials of GDA and Ministry of Energy have presented a number of solutions to resolve the water supply and power issues.
Currently, CPEC projects of Necessary Facilities of Fresh Water Treatment, Water Supply and Distribution at the cost of $130 and 300MW Coal Based Power Project at the cost of $600 are under implementation in Gwadar. These projects will meet the power and water demands of local community and the modern expending port city of Gwadar.