Centre assures Balochistan of full support for improving Gwadar Port


The federal government has assured the Balochistan government of full support for bringing improvement in Gwadar Port and completion of the related road network, advising the province to review its feasibility report for its future plan and make it economically viable.
This was said on Sunday by Dr Nadeem ul Haq, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, who led a three-member team to Gwadar to review the future prospects for port operations with the consultation of the Balochistan government.
Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani, Senior Minister Maulana Abdul Wasey, ministers Mir Asim Gaillu, Zahoor Buledi, Mir Hamal Kalmati, Syed Ehsan Shah, Mir Asghar Rind and Chief Secretary Fatah Mohammad Babar Yaqub also attended the meeting. Haq advised the provincial government to study the feasibility report of Gwadar Port and look into the prospective for its future development by keeping in view the progress and prosperity of neighbouring countries’ port cities like Iran’s Chabahar and UAE’s Jabal-e-Ali. He said the provincial government should put its recommendations before the federal government for making the Gwadar Port operational in the near future.
He said these recommendations would be reviewed by the joint meeting of chief minister and provincial ministers with the prime minister, to be held at Islamabad in the near future. Haq said the federal government was firm in its resolution to make the port fully operational, but was reviewing its economic aspects.
He also asked the provincial government to study the port’s economic prospective so that it could be a viable project instead of making ambitious proposals as happened in the past.
He regretted raising hopes in feasibility report on the basis of fake proposals. Haq said the federal government would also issue directions to the National Highway Authority (NHA) for an early completion of Gwadar-Turbat-Rato Dero Highway that would link the port city with Indus Highway. The deputy chairman asked officials of Gwadar Port Authority to explain why Singapore Port Authority, which was awarded a contract for port operation by the Musharraf government, was not working at the port. The meeting was informed that 80 percent of the construction on Gwadar-Rato Dero Highway had been completed with an expenditure of Rs 15 billion and the rest would be hopefully completed within a few months.
Mohammad Musa, NHA representative, said due to security issues, the contractor and laborers were hesitant to re-start abandoned work.
Chief Secretary Fatah Yaqoob told the meeting that he had met with all security agencies who assured the government of their full cooperation and support. Chief Minister Aslam Raisani said foolproof arrangements would be made for providing security to contractors and their laborers involved in the construction of highways. Raisani complained over the non-implementation of the Balochistan package, pointing out that the notification regarding the Balochistan chief minister being made the chairman of Gwadar Port Authority was still pending.