THE Pak-China Relations Steering Committee on Monday directed finalization of a uniform policy framework within a month for extension in commercial operation dates (CODs) of five power projects of about 3,600 megawatts being set up under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
It also directed the Power Division to ensure availability of sufficient power for operationalization of the 660kV transmission line from Matiari to Lahore from Sept 1 and asked NEPRA to finalize tariff for the project during the testing stage.
There have been consistent reports about hiccups and delays in the implementation of various projects under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and proceedings of the Steering Committee confirm this perception.
There is no denying the fact that several projects are behind schedule despite the willingness of China to provide necessary finances and technical assistance for their completion.
In this backdrop, the decision of the Committee to give a deadline for removal of irritants in the way of execution of five important power projects is appreciable.
However, there are several other projects as well that need attention of the relevant authorities for their prompt completion so that the country and its people could benefit from them as originally envisaged.
It is particularly worrisome that the projects facing delays include hydel power plants on river Jhelum that should have been the priority in view of their economic benefits.
Apart from these projects, the work on the crucial Kotli Sattian-Azad Kashmir CPEC road is also stalled for the last three years despite the fact that its construction has strategic importance and its completion would have facilitated construction activities in the nearby water reservoir/hydel power project.
Lethargic attitude adopted towards non-completion of new Islamabad airport segment of Metro Bus project is also a cause of major inconvenience for air travellers and their fleecing by the taxi mafia.
We hope the CPEC Authority, which has the exclusive mandate to take care of all issues pertaining to CPEC projects, would remove bottlenecks in the way of smooth implementation of all projects without further loss of time as delay is increasing the cost significantly.