Pakistan, China agree to complete Rs 34bn projects in Azad Kashmir

Chinese official discusses local interference, security threats with ERRA official

ISLAMABAD – Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) and a Chinese construction company agreed to gear-up the work to complete 205 city development projects worth Rs 34 billion in Muzaffarabad, Bagh and Rawalakot, the three major districts of the Azad Jammu Kashmir.

A Chinese five member high-level delegation headed by Chief Engineer Chen Xianming called on ERRA Deputy Chairman Muhammad Azeem Asif on Thursday. Both the sides discussed Chinese loan projects underway in these three cities of the state in detail, says a press release.

The ERRA deputy chairman highlighted various impediments including delay in various ongoing under construction projects. It is pertinent to note that Chinese loan will be closed by December 31, 2015. Out of 205 projects, 16 have so far been completed with the cost of five billion rupees, Asif said during the interaction.

City Development Project Director General Zafar Wahla said that about 24 projects of water supply schemes, sewerage system, city government buildings, schools and community centres were near completion.

The Chinese chief engineer said that all ongoing projects required additional manpower, extra attention, technical support, ample supervision and facilitation on part of the ERRA, NESPAK and contractors. He also implored early release of counterpart funding to push ongoing projects construction.

The ERRA official assured the Chinese delegation for timely payment of the counterpart funding and facilitation at the work premises as intervention by the residents caused the delay. He pledged the visiting delegation that working environment would be made congenial so that all the ongoing projects to be completed within stipulated time.

About the Chinese construction company apprehension regarding interference by the residents, security threats and non-availability of the counterpart funding, the ERRA official vowed to resolve all security concerns and funds issues in letter and spirit to complete city development projects in the state’s capital, Bagh and Rawalakot as par the contract.


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