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ECNEC authorises projects worth Rs265.28 billion

ISLAMABAD: The National Economic Council (ECNEC) authorised Rs265.281 billion on Wednesday for a number of road infrastructure projects, including the Hyderabad–Sukkur Motorway, Rawalpindi Ring Road, and Lai Nullah Express Way, as well as poverty eradication in Southern Punjab.

ECNEC approved a revised proposal for the building of the Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway on a built-operate-transfer (BOT) basis at a cost of Rs191.471 billion,” according to a statement released following the meeting.

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The National Highway Authority (NHA) will oversee the building of a 306-kilometer long, six-lane wide, split walled highway between Hyderabad and Sukkur. The ECNEC meeting was headed by Shaukat Tarin, a financial expert.

Asad Umer, minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, minister for Industries and Production, Makhdoom Khusroo Bakhtiar, minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, adviser to the PM on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, federal secretaries and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

ECNEC approved the project of land acquisition for Lai Expressway & Flood Channel, Rawalpindi worth of Rs24.961 billion with directions “that no expenditure will be incurred till completion of EIA (environmental impact assessment) report and approval of the project from PPP board”. The project will be executed by Rawalpindi Development Authority. The project envisages acquisition of 750 kanals of land to provide clear right of way for construction of the Lai Nullah expressway and flood channel project which would constitute an integral part of the transportation network of Rawalpindi besides flood mitigation and sewage disposal.

The statement said ECNEC also approved a project on construction of Rawalpindi Ring Road – R3, main carriageway from Baanth (N-5) to Thallian (M-2) amounting to Rs23.606 billion with condition to acquire the concurrence of Planning Commission and inclusion of axel load management in the project. Provincial annual development programme will finance the project and Rawalpindi Development Authority will execute the project for construction of six lane access-controlled Rawalpindi Ring Road 38.3 kilometer in length.

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ECNEC also approved revised Southern Punjab Poverty Alleviation Project (SPPAP) worth of Rs25.243 billion.

“Contributions from International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), government of Punjab and beneficiaries will assist the funding of project spread over ten districts of Punjab,” the statement said.

ECNEC discussed in detail and deferred greater Thal Canal Project (Phase-II) with observations to discuss in the next meeting after considering the technical aspect of the project, inclusion of comments of Sindh province in the report of CDWP and addressing the reservations of all the stakeholders.

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