Delay in CPEC projects could turn costly, hinder economic development

LAHORE: Protracted delay in the execution of various projects sanctioned for Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) could result in their escalated costs, and hinder the state’s economic development and regional connectivity, reported The News.

Four mega projects in AJ&K envisaged under CPEC framework face roadblocks due to one reason or another. The likely cost overrun and delays might provide opportunities to certain vested groups to ‘politicize’ such projects at the cost of economic development in the area, claimed the report.

One of the important projects includes Mirpur-Muzaffarabad-Mansehra Motorway, which would connect the state with the main CPEC route. Amongst the eight industrial zones under the CPEC, one is to be set up in AJ&K. Moreover, 1,124 megawatts (MW) Kohala dam and the 720 MW Karot dam were also envisaged under the CPEC framework.

A report, titled “CPEC in Azad Jammu & Kashmir: a gateway to regional connectivity and beyond”, also expressed concern over obstacles in the proposed projects. The report, authored by Sabur Ali Sayyid and published by Islamabad-based Centre for Peace, Development and Reforms (CPDR), provides a comprehensive critique of the CPEC projects in AJ&K, including Karot and Kohala hydropower projects, construction of motorway and a special economic zone in Mirpur.

Source: Pakistan Today

Dated on: 10/9/2019

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