People of Gwadar top priority in CPEC, says Ahsan Iqbal


ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior, and Planning, Development & Reforms Ahsan Iqbal has said that people of Gwadar are the top priority in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He also 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 Planning Secretary Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Balochistan Chief Secretary Aurangzeb Haque, senior officials from line ministries and government of Balochistan, and Chinese embassy officials.

Officials of Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) and Ministry of Energy briefed the participants on the Gwadar Master City Plan, power projects and water supply issues.

Ahsan Iqbal said that the plan for Gwadar city must be a comprehensive document, including all the aspects of a modern port city and in line with requirements of CPEC. He instructed that the plan should ensure provision of an integrated rail, road and air transport infrastructure system.

The minister 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 seaport, the plan should come up with solutions,” the 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.

Ahsan also directed that mushroom growth of private residential areas must 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 funding by China was launched in August 2017. It envisages preparation of a detailed 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 and 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.

The planning minister directed that besides expediting CPEC projects on water and power plant, alternate arrangements should be made to address the problem on war footing.

Currently, CPEC projects of necessary facilities of fresh water treatment, water supply and distribution, and 300MW coal-based power project are under implementation in Gwadar. These projects will meet the power and water demands of the local community and the expanding port city of Gwadar.