Gwadar Port without significant operations

KARACHI - The Standing Committee on Research and Development of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Saturday expressed concern over the under-development of Gwadar Port area. According to fact-finding report prepared by the FPCCI Standing Committee on R&D, Gwadar Port, said the Port presently was without any significant operations and was also lacking the required infrastructural facilities to make it functional. Nearly 750-kilometre coastal road from Karachi to Jiwani near the Iranian border has been in operation for some time. A 200-kilometer branch road that would link the coastal road to the Indus Highway at Ratto-Dero is still not developed. Tanvir A Sheikh, president of FPCCI, pointed out that there are no internal roads and services and water, gas, power and communication services for the new township and the industrial zones are non-existent. There are no warehouses or cold storages in the area. No significant progress has been made so far in respect to development of commercial and residential areas and buildings, and there are no labour related amenities for accommodating thousands of workers to be employed on a functional seaport. Gwadar Port project was given to Singapore-based company with the hope that this company will develop the port and will bring Foreign Investment for Gwadar. Tavir Sheikh said that Gwadar Port was still not contributing its due share in the economic development of the Pakistan. He demanded that a committee should be constituted with the representation of all stakeholders and the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI). The representation of Industry is indispensable because industry will provide employment for the local population and generate revenue for the development activities in Gwadar. Gwadar Port, the third port of Pakistan borders on Arabian Sea would be deeper than all other ports in the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Indian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Gulf region and huge cargo ships up to 0.25 million tons could anchor here. The master plan prepared for the development of Gwadar, which was a fishermen's village had been approved in March 2004. The western portion, which is away from the port, has been reserved for development of residential areas while the eastern portion for establishment of industries and warehouses. Several projects had been planned for provision of infrastructure, which includes 950 KM railway and 900 KM motorway to link with the railway and highway systems of the country. But all these expected benefits have so far eluded the locals because developmental works are still to take off.

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