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Gwadar Expressway construction cost doubles

Islamabad—Believe it or not, the cost of construction of Expressway on East Bay of Gwadar Port has increased by almost close to 100 percent from Rs 3.763 billion to Rs 6.274 billion on the pretext that the scope of the project has increased which is factually widened by 37 percent, Pakistan Observer has learnt reliably.

“Although the technical appraisal by the transport and communication section of the Planning Commission has identified this glaring mistake and put an emphatic big question mark, but the authorities concerned under the political pressure of Balochistan government has approved the project with 100 percent increase in the cost.”

The official sources said: “The irrational increase in the project, when the country is in dire financial constraints, is not justified, rather it is an attempt to appease the Baluchistan government on political grounds.” The sources claimed that the massive increase in the project would be plundered as the incase in the cost should have been at 37 percent.

However, according to the official document pertaining to the project, the technical appraisal wing of the Planning Commission unveiled that the original cost of the project was Rs 3.76 billion when CDWP (Central Development Working Party) had approved on April 28, 2006. Now the Ministry of Port and Shipping which is sponsoring agency and Gwadar Port Implementation Authority (GPIA) have come up with increase in a scope of the project by just 37 percept and seeking the raise in the cost by almost 100 percent which is not justified and the CDWP that recently met with Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Nadeem-ul-Haq approved the project with huge increase.

The Appraisal Wing also pinpointed that PC-1 does not mention any comparative estimates of reclamation and land acquisition for the expressway road. It also unveiled that the revised PC-I compared with the original PC-1 of the project does not provide the requisite input as desired by CDWP for optimum and judicial utilization of resources.

As per the revised PC-1, the length of the Expressway has increased from 13.82 kilometers to 18.98 km and 10.8 meter wide, 6 lane dual carriageway expressway with 1 meter inner and 3 meter outer hard shoulders. The project has an offshore length of 4300 km and on-shore length of 14.681 km along with allied structures to meet exclusively the port cargo traffic demand for it swift movement to and from the port.

The proposed expressway starts from the newly constructed road joining port with the city and terminates at Makran Coastal Highway near Koh-e-Mehdi that provides a direct access o the port. The first proposed 4km of the proposed alignment will pass long with East bay beach and the remaining portion will pass en-route to the western side of the existing guiding tower and pass through, urban areas, Pakistan Navy area, airport road, proposed housing schemes and then the alignment will turn towards east and join the Makran Coastal Highway.

Pakistan Observer

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