ISLAMABAD - The prime minister’s recent initiative to remove sense of deprivation among the people of Balochistan seems fruitless, as number of infrastructure development projects are still facing an extraordinary delay due to paucity of funds and law and order situation.

These extraordinary delayed projects are causing heavy burden on national exchequer in shape of escalation cost. The prime minister had injected Rs 18 billion to infrastructure development package but some main projects including M-8 (road linkage with Gwadar), Sorab-Basima-Hoshab (454-km) and Kul Pur (N-65) are facing delay due to both paucity of funds and law and order situation.

Sources in communication ministry said that contractors and engineers of foreign countries were still reluctant to continue work on development projects due to law and order situation. “Due to slow pace of the projects escalation cost is causing heavy burden on national kitty,” they said.

The budgetary allocation for communication projects for last some years has not been enough to increase the pace of the work on these important communication projects.

When contacted, Yusuf Ali Khan, NHA member construction, admitted delay in some of Balochistan projects due to worsening law and order situation and paucity of funds. “Although law and order situation is not satisfactory yet NHA is making efforts to complete delayed projects,” he said, adding that escalation cost was increasing.

It is relevant to mention here that Balochistan projects including widening of Kalat-Quetta-Chaman Road (N-25), Kalat-Quetta Road (60-km), Quetta-Chaman Road (57-km), Lakpass Tunnel (180m), Muslim Bagh-Qila Saifulla Road (50-km), Ormara-Pasni section, Khanozai-Muslim Bagh section (50-km), and Liari-Ormara sectionare also not incomplete due to certain reasons.

Technical experts shared that due to increasing cost of vital communication projects, probably running into billions of rupees, the ministry was unable to touch any new project.

They further said that escalation cost could only be avoided if smooth funding was provided for the next 10 years.

Apart from Balochistan projects, some other projects including Lowari Tunnel and Karakorum Highway (KKH) are also delayed projects.

The Lowari Tunnel will link Pakistan with Central Asian Republic states.