ISLAMABAD: The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is envisioned as a game changer in the region and developments on the ground in Gwadar, a gateway to this project reflect that at least the life of locals is turning around towards progress and prosperity with new infrastructure developments, employment opportunities and health and education facilities.
A state of the art school, vocational training institute, 50 bed hospital and recruitment of a considerable number of locals in ongoing development projects are the benefits being offered to around 0.26 million people of Gwadar, who have remained mired in a trap of poverty and depravation for decades.
A public higher secondary school run by the Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) is offering quality education to 375 students including 310 boys and 65 girls while amongst them 80 students are also using the boarding facility in the school.
The 50 bed hospital jointly managed by Pakistan Army, Baluchistan Government and GDA is also providing indoor and outdoor medical facilities. The same hospital is expected to be upgraded up to 150 beds in the coming days under CPEC.
On the other side, a vocational and training institute is also offering technical courses in several fields to provide a skillful workforce for the upcoming mega projects in Gwadar.
The local people are also getting jobs in CPEC related projects and 2,000 natives are employed in the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) out of a total of 2,500 employees.
“The modern Gwadar city is purposed to be located on 290,000 acres of land including 160,000 acres for residential purposes”, the director general GDA Dr Sajjad H. Baloch told a group of journalists from Islamabad, who visited Gwadar last week.
A Chinese company is working on the master plan of the Model City which will be ready by August 14, 2018.
He further informed that an oil city with a dedicated area of 80,000 acres would also be established in Gwadar for transportation of imported oil to China, which will be imported from the Gulf and will be stored in the said oil city.
He briefed that currently China is using the western route which takes around 40 days to cover the distance however the distance will be reduced and it will take just seven days through Gwadar.
“A refinery, petrochemical industries and storage will be established in this purposed oil city”, he added.
Meanwhile, China Airport Construction Group Engineering Company’s representative Jianxin Liao informed the journalist in an on ground visit that the new international airport in Gwadar will be situated on 4,300 acres, which will be the biggest airport of the country as compare to 3,700 acres of Karachi airport, 2,800 acres of Lahore airport and about 3,600 acres of new Islamabad airport.
He informed that the soil testing is underway as 90 boreholes out of total 300 have already been completed and after which the design of the airport would be finalized till April 2018.
“The expected cost of the project is around $ 2billion however it could vary and it will be finalized after completion of testing and the design phase”, he told.
Besides all this, the Gwadar city is facing shortage of water, which according to officials will be resolved in future as the related projects are included in CPEC.
Currently, the shortage of water stands at 4 MGD as there is no direct water supply in the city and only 2 MGD is being supplied through tankers in city against a requirement of 6 MGD. The demand of water would be increased up to 12 MGD by 2020.
COURTESY BY: https://dailytimes.com.pk