Prime Minister Imran Khan emphasised on Friday that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project would be completed in any circumstances as the project was a guarantee for the bright future of Pakistan.
In line with his vision to provide relief to poor people by reopening the construction industry, Imran, while reviewing the progress of projects under CPEC, remarked that “CPEC is an excellent project in terms of socio-economic development of Pakistan.”
Appreciating the performance of the CPEC Authority, Imran directed that all necessary steps be taken to make the performance and capacity of the body more efficient. “The CPEC project will be completed in any circumstances and its fruits will be delivered to all Pakistanis,” he said.
The meeting was attended by federal ministers Asad Umar, Khusro Bakhtiar, Umar Ayub, Trade Adviser Razak Dawood, Chairman CPEC Authority Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa and senior officials of the ministries concerned.
The prime minister had decided to start work on the CPEC projects in the first week of April, while heading a meeting of the National Coordination Committee. He had said that employment of the labourers in the construction industry and “working class is the top priority of the government.”
Meanwhile, in a separate meeting, Imran was given a detailed briefing on the progress made so far in adapting and restructuring the master plans of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and major cities of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as per the present-day requirements.
The meeting was attended by PM’s Adviser on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, Member National Assembly and Town Planning Specialist Khayal Zaman, Naya Pakistan Housing Authority (NPHA) chairman, housing secretary and senior officials. Officials of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including the Punjab chief secretary, also attended the meeting via video link.
Addressing the meeting, Imran said that unplanned construction in major cities in the last few years had not only posed serious threats to the environment but also caused complex problems in provision of civic amenities in cities.
The limited green areas and adjacent agricultural lands were being affected, he said, adding that the situation could pose a serious threat to food security in the future. Imran said that the process of amendments and upgradation in the master plan should be taken forward keeping in view the ground realities and socio-economic activities of each city.
While reorganising the master plan, he said, special attention should be given to ensure that the urban areas served as the engine of growth for the country’s economy and create better jobs and economic opportunities for the youth.
“Incentives provided by the government to the construction sector are also aimed at promoting the sector as well as creating job opportunities for the youth,” Imran said, while directing the provincial authorities to make use of modern technology in restructuring the cities’ master plans so that the work could be completed at the earliest.
He also directed that the roadmap for finalising the master plans and the report containing the interim strategy should be completed and submitted within the next one week.
In March 2019, Imran while sharing his vision for Pakistan’s future cities had said that he wanted to allow buildings to rise vertically so that there was space for green areas.
In his tweet, he had stated: “My vision for our future cities: to allow buildings to rise vertically and allow for more green spaces as Pak is one of the most environmentally-threatened countries. Avoiding large sprawling built-up areas will also allow easier provision of amenities to our urban dwellers.”