KARACHI: Taking the first major step towards sharing the fruits of China-Pakistan Economic Zone, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah listed two major projects to be part of the massive plan, These were establishment of an Industrial zone near Dhabeji and developing Keti Bandar Project for coal transportation. Belated though, but the happy announcement finally came during his meeting with a delegation led by Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong, at the CM House here Tuesday.
The session, which focused on sensitive subject was attended by provincial ministers Nisar Khuhro, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Acting Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Secretary Energy Agha Wasif and others. A piece of land has already been allocated at Dhabeji, some 35 miles off karachi, to establish China-Pakistan Industrial Zone. This zone would attract Chinese and other investment and it would be very near to Karachi and the proposed project of Keti Bandar for trade through sea and road routes.
Shah said that his team led by Secretary Energy Agha Wasif had recently visited China to attend an important transport related meeting. They pleaded the case of Keti Bandar in the follow up meetings and now it has been included in the minutes of meeting which means the proposal of the project has been made official. The chief minister said that CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting is scheduled to be held next month in China. I have already directed my team to prepare detailed feasibility of Keti Bandar and prepare it as a commercial project to present there’, he told the ambassador.
The envoy assured the chief minister of the support and asked him to send the details of the project. The chief minister giving details of the Keti Bandar project said that there would be a coal-jetty to export coal and coal-fired power plant(s) would also be installed there in the first phase.
“Power plant needs fresh water which is not available at Thar Coal field. Fresh water is available at Keti Bander and power generation would not a problem there,” he said and added “a railway line from Keti Bander to Thar Coalfield would be laid to transport coal from Thar for power plant and export,” he said.
The chief minister also briefed him on the second phase of the project in which a full-fledged seaport would be established to trade with other countries. Talking about the China-Pakistan Industrial Park, he said that he was keen to take it up in the CPEC so that its infrastructure could be developed.
“The areas between Gharo to Dhabeji is an ideal place for industrial development. It is fabulous as it is connected through road network and sea routes. The Chinese Consul General, Wang Yu, Deputy Consul General Mu Yongpend and other senior Chinese official were in the delegation.