ISLAMABAD - Balochistan government yesterday said that they didn’t receive any directives from the federal government regarding the land acquisition for the western route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The revelation was made by the Additional Chief Secretary Balochistan in the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms. The meeting was presided over by Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi.

The committee also asked the govt that why they are not importing cheap electricity from Iran.

Regarding land for the CPEC’s western route, Senator Usman Kakar said that from Zhob to Quetta and from Quetta to Khuzdar government’s free communal land is available but since western route is not a priority of the government, therefore, no action has been taken to acquire the land.

He said that NHA is required to acquire the communal land, otherwise, they have to pay billion of rupees to remove the illegal occupants from the land.

Regarding Railway route, Usman Kakar said that the Eastern route was 900 kilometers more lengthy than that of the Western route but despite this fact, the government was giving more priority to the Eastern route. A loss of Rs 20 billion is being incurred on the national exchequer by making the eastern Railway route. 

Chairman of the Committee pointed out that why the government was wasting money on costlier routs instead of embarking upon the short and relatively cheaper routs. When the government will give less importance to the western route and allocated less funds, there will be objections, he said ,adding, that the federation is required to give equal rights to everyone.

Regarding acquisition of land for the western route, the official of the Ministry of Planning informed that the land belongs to the government of Pakistan but whenever they have tried to acquire it, the tribal have resisted the move.

However,Additional Secretary Baluchistan said that they haven’t received any directives from the National Highway Authority (NHA) for purchasing or arranging land for the CPEC’s western route.

Usman Kakar said that the foundation of CPEC is based upon prejudice, the cost of D.I.Khan to Zhob section of western route is Rs 800 million but in the PSDP only Rs 90 million has been allocated, that means it will require 90 years for its completion.

Regarding CASA-1000, Senator Mohsin Laghari said that the Noorak system of Tajikistan is old and outdated and new dams are not ready.There is shortfall of electricity in Tajikistan and it’s hard to bring electricity through unstable Afghanistan, he said.

Chairman of the Committee said that in Afghanistan is facing a security problem and it’s expected it will continue. He said that if Iran is ready to provide cheap electricity then why you are not purchasing it?.

The Senate Standing Committee was informed that a security force has been established for the protection of ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the country.

Project Director CPEC, Zahir Shah informed the Committee that as many as 9000 permanent Army men while 6000 temporary civilians were being employed in the security force for CPEC projects.

“One per cent of total project cost would be allocated for the security purposes in order to ensure fool proof security for the projects”, Project Director CPEC, Zahir Shah informed the Committee.

Senator Usman Kakar pointed out that the in armed forces, there was less representation of the Balochistan province while Punjab would again take benefit as maximum number of security employees would come from Punjab province.

He said that CPEC had become an example of Pak China long lived friendship and urged that the fruits of CPEC projects should be provided to all areas of the country without any discrimination.

He said that along the CPEC route, besides establishing industrial zones, projects for the welfare of the people should also be initiated.He also urged that corruption in these projects must be checked in order to ensure the implantation of the projects transparently.

The Committee also took notice of the developmental work in the constituency of son in law of the Prime Minister.

Adviser to the Ministry of Planning informed that the around Rs 2 billion have been allocated for Mansehra developmental works.

Giving the details, the Adviser said that Rs 950 million has been allocated for Mansehra Airport,Rs 562 million for the administration block of the University,Rs 15 for the construction of roads,Rs 490 million for various developmental works, Rs 5 million for water supply and Rs 450 million for small dams have been allocated. Chairman of the Committee said that there is no drinking water in Karachi the government should provide Rs 2 to 4 billion for K-4 project of Karachi.

The meeting was attended among others by Senators Usman Khan Kakar and Muhammad Mohsin Leghari and officials of the Ministry of Railways and Planning.