NHA plans to dualize Rajanpur-Taunsa section of Indus Highway

ISLAMABAD (APP): National Highway Authority (NHA) is considering a proposal to dualize Rajanpur-Taunsa section of Indus Highway. According to an NHA official source, the process for procurement of consultants for conducting the detailed design has been initiated. The project, the source said, was likely to be financed by ADB. The road is not in good condition and several fatal accidents have been reported on the section during past couple of years. The Indus Highway, also known as N-55, is a 1,264 km long four-lane highway that runs along the Indus River connecting the port city of Karachi with the northwestern city of Peshawar via Larkana, Dera Ghazi Khan and D I Khan. The official said following the vision of present political leadership, the NHA was committed to expand the present road facilities and modernize this network to keep up with growing needs of the transport. The official also added National Highways and Motorway Police (NH&MP) was making effective measures to regulate traffic, ensure safety and provide assistance to road users.

As part of efforts to ensure safety, the official said 138 speed checking cameras had been provided to all zones of NH&MP and over speeding was being checked with modern gadgets and cameras on day and night basis.

 108MW Golen Gol project to be operational in Oct 2017

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Unit-1 of 108 MW-Golen Gol Hydropower Project is expected to be commissioned in October 2017. Official sources told APP her that efforts were also being made to complete the Unit No. 1 in June 2017. They said that speedy completion of hydropower projects including Golen Gol is a must to get rid of power shortages in the country besides lowering the tariff for electricity consumers. The project authorities had already been directed to expedite their efforts on electro-mechanical works of the project. The Prime Minister had also already instructed WAPDA to provide 30 MW of electric power to District Chitral. They said Golen Gol Hydropower Project would not only help bridging the gap between electricity demand and supply but also play an important role for economic and social uplift of the remote areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa like Chitral. It is pertinent to mention that Golen Gol Hydropower Project is being constructed on River Golen Gol, a tributary of River Mastuj.

Power generation capacity of the project is 108MW. On completion, it will contribute 442 million units of low-cost hydel electricity to the National Grid every year.

 FPCCI president for completing Pak portion of IP pipeline

ISLAMABAD (APP): President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Abdul Rauf Alam has urged the government to construct its portion of 785km of Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline as soon as possible. In an interview IRNA, he said that completion of the project would help boosting bilateral trade volume which is currently very low between the two capitals. Things between Iran and Pakistan were moving in a right direction and law and order situation could be improved, he added. "Of course the main problem is the banking channel but the private sectors of both the countries are serious in doing the business," he noted. He said the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Iran and Pakistan would definitely help improve bilateral trade. FPCCI president said that the five billion dollars trade volume was quite reasonable and could be achieved if both the countries were serious.

Alam said that in the future, Pakistan's community could go to Chabahar to invest but at the moment there was no such plan.

Commenting on the upcoming Pakistan-Iran Joint Economic Commission meeting to be hosted by Tehran, he said resumption of banking channel, removing trade barriers and completion of the IP would remain the main areas to be discussed in the meeting of the next Joint Economic Commission.

"Iran and Pakistan should pave the ground for trade and the FTA should take place immediately," he said. Pointing to severe energy crisis in Pakistan, he said that we did not have any better choice than Iran to import electricity.

 Public consultations on FTAs with Turkey, Thailand next month

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Ministry of Commerce was in process of negotiating comprehensive free trade agreements (FTAs) with Turkey and Thailand and in this connection public consultation meetings will be held in October next month, Ministry sources said. The sources said that in this connection, the first public consultation meeting will be held in Karachi on October 4, and another meeting will be held on October 6, in Lahore. Before signing the agreements with Turkey and Thailand, the government intends to hold consultative meetings to solicit suggestions and recommendations from the relevant individuals and stakeholders. The Ministry of Commerce have asked interested individual, civil society or organizations, business associations , chambers of Commerce and Industry and companies could contact on before September 30, through email or post to seek formal invitation for the above consultative meetings.