Gwadar: The Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs convened at Parliament House to acquire the remaining land necessary for the construction of the railway track connecting Gwadar Port to the Railway Container Yard, according to news published on December 6.
Chaired by Senator Rubina Khalid, the meeting addressed the project, which had received approval from ECNEC in 2007. The officials (whose name were not disclosed) mentioned that approximately 340 acres of land are yet to be acquired by the railways for the project.
The news source mentioned that the negotiations are underway between the ministry and relevant authorities, including the District Administration, Gwadar Development Authority (GDA), and Gwadar Port Authority, to secure the remaining land. Railway officials brought attention to a 5-acre overlap of railway land during the construction of the Eastbay Expressway. Emphasizing the significance of the railway track for the Gwadar project, Senator Rubina Khalid urged its prompt completion. The committee recommended the formation of a committee involving relevant stakeholders to address the land acquisition issue within 15 days.
Additionally, the Senate Standing Committee discussed the current status of the Gwadar Shipyard Project. Secretary Maritime Affairs Dr Iram Anjum Khan informed the committee that the Ministry of Defence Production (MoPD) initially identified the Kappar area for the shipyard. However, due to its location 50-kilometre away and above sea level, MoDP changed the site to Sur Bandar in October 2023.
The Senate body received briefings on challenges hindering the execution of the Korangi Fisheries Harbour Authority, the Modification of Fish Auction Hall, the Establishment of Business Park, and the Establishment of Cold Storage and Freezing tunnels. Officials reported that revised project proposals (PC-I’s) have been submitted to the Central Development Working Party (CDWP), awaiting approval. Senator Rubina Khalid recommended the ministry explore private-sector partnerships to ensure the timely completion of these projects. In discussing the implementation status of recommendations related to Inland Waterways Transport and amendments to the Pakistan Merchant Marine Shipping Policy and Pakistan Merchant Shipping Ordinance, officials revealed that the idea of establishing Inland Waterways Transport lacked unanimous support from stakeholders, with some considering it a misallocation of resources