ADB offers $455 million for Pakistan projects

ISLAMABAD — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to offer $455 million to fund a mega cross-border infrastructure development programme aimed at creating a sub-regional corridor from Gwadar port to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

By From A Correspondent

Published: Tue 30 Aug 2005, 10:30 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:48 PM

Official sources said that under the programme 'Trade Facilitation and Land Border Crossing Authority' would also be established to supervise all significant land border crossings and facilitate freight and passenger cross-border and transit traffic.

In this behalf an elaborate programme has been finalised to provide sub-regional connectivity and trade facilitation into Afghanistan and the Central Asian States. The objective is to support regional cooperation by removing or relaxing physical, institutional and other barriers to improved transportation and increased trade. Similarly, it is also an objective to support preparation and adoption of crossborder agreements for road transport including movement of containers and to ensure improved road sector efficiency on the main transport corridors in Pakistan. The scope of the new road venture also included rehabilitating key national highways that are the part of the sub-regional corridor selected from the existing draft Medium Term Development Framework for 2005-2010. The objective is ensuring cross-border infrastructure development and the institutional strengthening of the National Highway Authority (NHA) and other relevant agencies. It will also support implementation of ADB's sub-regional cooperative initiatives and relevant policy framework agreed between the government and the Bank.

Following a series of meeting with Bank's officials, all the concerns were addressed in terms of physical improvement in the national highway connection with Afghanistan and central Asian states. An internationally reputed firm has been engaged as the engineer responsible for the "contract administration and construction supervision" for massive road connectivity across Pakistan as well as Afghanistan and Central Asia. The ADB, sources said, has confirmed that it would finance the civil work for cross border facilitation situated at Chamman (Balochistan) and Torkham (NWFP). The ministry of communications which is the sponsoring agency of this project has pleaded for the new rehabilitation programme as 76 per cent of NHA's road network has cracked.

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