Govt approves new projects worth Rs234 billion under SBDP Phase-II

Web DeskWeb Editor

06th Sep, 2021. 12:30 pm

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has approved 90 per cent, or Rs234 billion, of the projects under the Southern Balochistan Development Programme (SBDP) Phase-II.

The new approved projects have been included in the Federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2021/22 for which Rs25.72 billion have been allocated in the current fiscal year, according to an official in the Ministry of Planning.

Likewise, during the current fiscal year, the allocation for various ongoing PSDP projects (valuing Rs274.689 billion) under the SBDP amounts to Rs29.160 billion.

The official said Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar had directed to prepare a priority list of projects to ensure adequate funding for fast-moving and strategic projects for timely completion.

In November last year, the federal government had announced a Rs600 billion package for the development of nine least-developed districts of South Balochistan, including Washuk, Lasbela, Gwadar, Panjgur, Turbat/Kech, Khuzdar, Awaran, Kharan, and Chagai.

According to the plan, the federal government agreed to fund Rs540 billion, while the remaining amount of Rs60 billion would be provided by the provincial government.

The areas of development that included in the SBDP were water, power and fuel, agriculture, livestock, IT, industries, commerce and human development.

Under the programme, the National Highway Authority (NHA) has started land procurement for three projects, including the construction of Hoshab–Awaran–Khuzdar Section of M-8 [Awaran–Naal 168km] to be completed at a cost of Rs32 billion, Hoshab-Awaran Section of M-8 (146km) to be completed at a cost of Rs38 billion and Rehabilitation and Upgradation Awaran–Jhaljao Road (54.8km) to be completed at an estimated cost of Rs6.9 billion.

To address water shortages, especially in Gwadar, the official said funds have been approved for connecting the Shadi-Kaur Dam with the Gwadar pipeline.

Additionally, the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has accorded approval for the installation of a 1.2MGD desalination plant at Gwadar Port through a Chinese grant.

He expressed the hope that the desalination plant would be completed within six to nine months as per the directives of the planning minister.

To improve digital connectivity in Gwadar, Chaghi, Noukeshi, Kech; the USF has awarded contracts for districts at a cost of Rs3.2 billion; planned completion is by July 24, 2022.

Similarly, a contract for high-speed broadband connectivity along M-8 and the national highways is also likely to be awarded by the third quarter of 2021.

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