Highways construction to usher in Balochistan’s economic uplift: minister
ISLAMABAD: The construction and expansion of highways will not only usher in a new era of economic development in remote areas of Balochistan but also pave the way for economic development in the entire region through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a government official said.
Minister for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed said that the progress and prosperity of Balochistan is the development of Pakistan, adding: “If Balochistan will be prosperous then Pakistan will be prosperous.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan not only promised the development and prosperity of the backward and deprived areas but also took practical steps for it, he said.
In comparison to the rulers of the past, the prime minister paid special attention to the development of Balochistan and the problems of its people and from time-to-time expressed his special interest in the resolution of the problems of Balochistan and its people, the minister said.
The previous regimes had claimed that they built roads in the past but ignored the province due to less number of seats in the Balochistan Assembly, he said, adding: “We have always strived hard to put Balochistan on a path to a prosperous, peaceful and developed province where the people should have equal access to health, education, clean drinking water, employment and business facilities.”
Saeed said: “This was not just our claim, nor was it a dream, but over the last three years, we have begun to move in the right direction to put these initiatives practically with positive results.”
The people of the province were also witnessing these changes themselves, he said, adding that the previous governments in Balochistan only issued tenders for projects but practically no work was done and seen on the ground.
“[The] PTI government not only approved the Western route of [the] China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) but also initiated the Zhob-Kichlak project,” he said.
The minister said the construction work of Khushab-Awaran 146km highway was in full swing, which was being carried out 20 per cent faster than its scheduled time.
Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of Quetta Western Bypass and Dera Murad Jamali Bypass this year. The video of Quetta Western Bypass project has been released and the work on Dera Murad Jamali Bypass is underway, the minister said.
Saeed said that the work is in full swing on Ziarat-Mor-Kach Harnai 165km highway, and 198km Basima-Khuzdar Highway.
The Khuzdar Highway will also be completed in December this year, he said, adding that these projects were inaugurated by the prime minister last year.
The premier will lay the foundation stone of the Jalju Bella project next week, he said, adding that the Karachi-Chaman-Quetta-Khuzdar project’s one section procurement phase has been completed, while advertisement has been issued for another section of 330km, adding that both these sections will be completed under BOT. The total length of this road is 796km.
The minister said these road projects will reduce distances in Balochistan, adding that it will also boost the tourism industry and make it easy for crops to reach the market on time.
These projects of development and prosperity will also restore connectivity to other parts of the country, he said, adding that these projects provided thousands of people with direct or indirect employment opportunities.
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