ISLAMABAD: (APP) Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal Monday said work on the western route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was progressing in full swing and it would be completed by 2018.
"The 650km long Gwadar-Quetta section of the western route has already been completed which according to the given time line was to be delivered in December 2016, this shows the work pace is not only smooth rather we are moving on fast track and ahead of time," he said.
The minister was chairing a meeting on CPEC here at the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, said a press release.
Referring to a writ petition filed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in Peshawar High Court on the CPEC , he said litigation on the Corridor could hurt investment climate for the KP.
''There is a joint parliamentary committee to oversee progress of CPEC projects, in which all parties and provinces are represented.
Instead of raising concerns in this committee, initiating litigation is a very irresponsible act," he added.
The federal government, he said, always tried its level best to address the reservations of KP government and the political leadership of the province. KP Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak himself on August 29 had endorsed the progress on CPEC and assured his unconditional support in the CPEC Summit in Islamabad', he added.
The minister said China was not transferring $46 billion in pocket of the government. $35 billion was being invested in energy sector in IPP mode as investment whereas rest of $11 billion was being invested into projects related to infrastructure and Gwadar, he added.
He maintained that the federal government gave equal importance to all the provinces of the country and would not discriminate to any region in respect of the CPEC . It would be in the larger interest of the country that "we all should remain united for smooth execution of CPEC by refraining from creating unnecessary disputes over it."
Ahsan Iqbal said some sections were carrying forward a malicious campaign aimed at creating ambiguities about this game changer project. There was not even a millimetre change in any route.
He said China and Pakistan in the concluding session of the 5th JCC of the CPEC had developed consensus on the principle of "one corridor with multiple passages" for CPEC transport planning, aiming at directly benefiting the socio-economic development of Pakistan especially the western and north-western regions, and providing effective connectivity to Gwadar Port .
The minister said with the completion of western route , people living in the underdeveloped areas would witness a new era of development and prosperity. The road projects on western passage were being given top priority, he added.
He said the construction work on D I Khan-Hakla 285 Km motorway fully funded through the PSDP had already commenced by completing all the requirements, including feasibility, design, land acquisition and approval in the shortest possible time and would be completed by 2018.