No energy project under CPEC in KP

| Federal govt claims Suki Kinari Hydro Power Project part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor

Islamabad: Out of 24 energy projects, under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Khyber Puktunkhwa is not getting even a single one, an official of the KP government claimed yesterday.

“There is only one hydro project of Suki Kinari Hydro which is claimed to be part of CPEC by the federal government.
In response to KP chief minister’s letter, requesting for provision of funds/project details regarding CPEC, federal minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal via correspondent No.2(1)CPEC/PD&R/2013 has provided a projects list under the corridor, the official said.
The copy of the letter and the list of CPEC projects are available with the scribe which mentioned 24 energy projects to be developed under the corridor. However the project list has only one scheme of 870 MW of Suki Kinari Hydropower station at river Kunhar, situated in KP, to be constructed with the cost of $ 1802 million. However, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa has rejected the claim of the federal minister saying that it is just an eyewash and lollypop from the centre for the KP government, as funds are already available for the project and there is no need to add it to the CPEC, the official said.
The letter said that the energy projects, under CPEC, are recommended keeping in view the source, load centers and the investors proposal considerations. These projects are in IPP mode, therefore federal government welcomes the initiation of energy projects as per energy policy, which is open to all provinces, it added.
According the letter the projects on the western route is Central cargo station/dry port at Havelian, Major portion of Karakurum Highway Phase-II, major portion of fiber optics cable system, expansion and reconstruction of railway line of ML-1 from Peshawar to Karachi and major portion of western passage road segment from D.I.Khan to Quetta(533km).
Ironically the provincial government has been informed, by the Federal Minister in his letter, that eastern passage road network has been renamed as Peshawar-Karachi motorway. However replying to the Ahsan Iqbal claim, the KP official sarcastically said what other name could possibly be given to this route? The federal planning minister still playing with words as the list has nothing to offer to the KP, the official said.
Regarding the Orange line Metro Bus Project, Ahsan Iqbal said that funding for the project is being made separately by the Chinese Government in addition to CPEC. The repayment of loan with interest is the exclusive liability of the Government of Punjab, the minister added. The other metro projects are also not part of the CPEC however the federal government is funding the Green Line Bus Rapid transit system project in Karachi at the cost of approximately Rs16 billion, the minister explained.
Regarding LNG, the letter said that LNG pipeline project is not yet in the list of projects. However, the pipeline if approved shall connect Gwadar to Nawabshah to link Balochistan and Sindh.
Elaborating about the economic zones the letter said that Joint Working Group on Industrial Cooperation between China and Pakistan under CPEC framework is yet to be formed, which shall finalize industrial zones under CPEC. Further, Board of Investment along with provincial government provincially identified 27 industrial sites out which eight falls in KP, the letter added. The expansion and up-gradation of ML-I line from Peshawar to Karachi is being undertaken which is expected to be completed by 2018.
Explaining about the province share in the fiber optic project, the letter said fiber optic project, which covers Gilgit Baltistan, KP and Federal Capital is also part of CPEC.
The KP official said that only few KM of four lane road will pass D.I.Khan and then enter to D.G.Khan (Punjab).” “We reject this list and will present our own list of projects to the Federal government,” the official added.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has threatened to resort to extreme steps if the federal government does not complete the western alignment of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on a priority basis. A major portion of funds, $ 38 billion out of $ 46 billion, of CPEC project will be spent on Energy projects, majority of them located on the eastern route, particularly in Punjab.
The federal minister for planning Ahsan Iqbal last week called Chief Minister KP and assured to redress all their concerns regarding CPEC.

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