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CPEC: Senate body recommends bringing gas from Tajikistan to GB

The interim Report of Senate’s Special Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) strongly recommends laying of a parallel pipeline along the proposed road to Tajikistan to bring natural gas from Tajikistan to Gilgit. The 3rd Interim Report of the Special Committee on CPEC was laid by Senator Taj Haider in the Senate on Friday.

According to the report, the Committee notes that Tajikistan and China are working on a 1000 km long $10 billion gas pipeline project to supply 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year (Line D) from its super giant Galkynysh gas filed to China. “The Pipeline from gas filed will be going in a North-East direction. Connection from this pipeline will also serve domestic market of south eastern Tajikistan. Let us explore the possibility of negotiating small modifications in the TAPI agreement to supply Gil-Baltistan with natural gas from Tajikistan. The Committee can constitute a sub-committee to assist in any negotiations in this regard with the government of Tajikistan and Afghanistan,” the committee report said. Pakistan has already signed TAPI, the agreement to bring natural gas from Tajikistan to Pakistan through Afghanistan.

According to report, (i)the recommended preparation of logically and scientifically made estimates of the traffic to be generated on CPEC route along with estimates of its yearly growth (ii) Construction of two lane Highway on the opposite bank (facing Karakoram Highway) (iii) Construction of bridges on Karakoram Highway (KKH) at every 10 km distance, (iv) Construction of Northern alternate route connecting Gahkuch with Chitral (v) Construction of metalled road from Imit to Khora Bhurt (Wakhan border), (vi) Start of negotiations with Afghanistan and Tajikistan to take the road to its meeting point with the highway in Tajikistan across Wakhan, (vii) Start of negotiations with Tajikistan and Afghanistan on modification of TAPI for laying gas pipeline from Tajikistan to Gilgit, (viii) Construction of road connecting Astore with Neelum valley, (ix) Study and pre-feasibility or Yarkand-Skardu road and (x) Construction of road between Samair and Passan.

The report further said that the Special Committee also recommended removal of’ bottlenecks if any in foreign investments and issuance of sovereign guarantees for projects to be constructed in Gilgit-Baltistan. About the electricity, the report said that the Committee recommended (i) Inclusion of identified Hydroelectric Power Projects (HPP) in CPEC (List provided), (ii) Start of construction of Regional High Voltage Grid connecting all generation points and supplying electricity to all parts of Gilgit-Baltistan and (iii) Connections or Regional Grid with the National Electricity Grid and (iv) Identification or appropriate sites for construction of an International Airport near Gilgit.

The Committee also recommended consultations with experts and the stakeholders for identifying areas for the establishment of Special Economic Zones and Special Industrial Zones. Expansion of Skill Development programs in consultation with AKRSP and other stakeholders. It is also recommended to have negotiations with the Chinese authorities for the resumption of exports of fruits to China. It is noted with concern that there are many indications on the ground that the Agreed Western Rout of CPEC is not being given priority as announced by the Prime Minister. via Business Recorder

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