The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Thursday approved development projects worth Rs579 billion, which include improving water management, measures to increase agricultural production and modernize Karachi, among others.
During a meeting, chaired by the Adviser to the Prime Minister of Finance, Dr. Hafeez Shaikh, the committee agreed to allocate Rs125.184bn for Phase 1 of the 10 billion Tsunami Tree Program, in which there are more than three billion Young trees, of which 10 percent would be fruit trees, will be planted throughout the country. The government aims to promote ecotourism, conserve and develop forests, increase grassland and grassland, create income opportunities for the local population, maintain and develop national wildlife parks, etc., explained the adviser.
It was also agreed that Rs78.384bn will be allocated to the construction of the BRT Red Line Project in Karachi "in order to improve the quality of public transport, transfer motor vehicle users to public transport and reduce traffic congestion in the city ".
The project would include two corridors: a 24.2-kilometer dedicated corridor that runs from Numaish to Malir Halt Depot and a 2.4-km common corridor between the Municipal Park and the Merewether Tower. The project also includes the construction of 29 bus stations, eight routes outside the corridor and the acquisition of 199 buses that will use ecological biomethane gas as fuel. The equipment for an intelligent transport system (ITS) and a safety mechanism are also included in the project.
In addition, it was agreed that Rs16.708bn would be allocated to Phase I of the Karachi Water and Sewer Services Improvement Project (KWSSIP) to improve the city's water and sanitation services.
Ecnec also approved Rs31.935bn for the Sehat Sahulat Program, which will provide free medical care to 2.7 million families across the country.
Eight important projects related to agriculture, worth Rs95bn, were also approved. Ecnec also approved the National Program for the improvement of the water course in Pakistan Phase-II, which will cost Rs154.542bn.
Ecnec also agreed to allocate Rs46.804bn for the 500 KV HVDC Transmission System between Tajikistan and Pakistan for the Central Asia and South Asia Transmission Interconnection project (CASA-1000) to ensure uninterruptible power supply to consumers and export any surplus energy to other countries.
Approximately Rs13.103bn will be allocated to the Sindh Secondary Education Improvement Program (SSEIP), which will include the construction of secondary schools throughout the province, teacher training and the provision of laboratory equipment.