Minister for Interior and Planning, Development & Reform, Ahsan Iqbal has said that people of the Gwadar is the top priority in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and instructed for immediate resolution of water and power supply issues in the port city.
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 Siddiqui, 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 have briefed the participants on the Gwadar Master City Plan, Power projects and water supply issues of Gwadar.
Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that the plan for Gwadar city must be a comprehensive document, including all the aspect of a modern port city and in line with requirements of CPEC.
He instructed that the plan should ensure the provision of an integrated rail, road and air transport infrastructure system. Ministers 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 US $ 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 the 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 US$ 130 and 300MW Coal Based Power Project at the cost of US $600 are under implementation in Gwadar.
These projects will meet the power and water demands of the local community and the modern expanding port city of Gwadar.