Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs was held at Parliament House.

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Islamabad, A Meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs was held at Parliament House on Thursday with Senator Rubina Khalid in Chair.

The Senate Committee deliberated on the railway connectivity of Gwadar Port with the ML-1 and Quetta. Officials apprised the committee about the new rail links that will be established for the connectivity of Gwadar port with ML-1 and Quetta. The Committee was informed that the land acquisition for the said project is divided into three phases; however, the first phase has been completed, and the second is ongoing and will be completed soon. The Committee was of the view that railway connectivity of Gwadar port to ML-1 will play a significant role in the development of Gwadar port and Pakistan Railways. The committee direcred the Pakistan Railways to prepare PC-1 of the project at the earliest for approval.

Furthermore, the committee was briefed on the Gwadar Port Master Plan and the land acquired by the Port Authority so far. Officials mentioned that the Gwadar Port Master Plan mainly entails a multi-use area and port industrial area; however, a total of 2,350 acres have been acquired so far, and 19,121 acres land is yet to be acquired. Senator Rubina Khalid inquired about the existence of an industrial waste plan for the industrial sector and stated that the industrial waste plan should be intact as it will protect the Gwadar sea from pollutants, calling it a necessity of time.

While discussing the implementation status of committee recommendations concerning the acquisition of the remaining land for the railway track from Gwadar Port to Railway Container Yard, Gwadar, officials stated that Pakistan Railways has requested the Gwadar Port Authority to acquire five acres of land, which was encroached during the construction of the East Bay Expressway, from private owners, and the said land will be acquired soon. However, as for the matter of 50 acres of land for the Railway Container Yard, the committee recommended the Gwadar Development Authority to allocate 50 acre available ‘white land’ adjacent to the already acquired Pakistan Railway land, to Pakistan Railways for the said purpose.

In attendance were Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, Senator Abida Muhammad Azeem, Senator Moula Bux Chandio, Senator Dost Muhammad Khan, Senator Saifullah Abro, Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir, Secretary Maritime Affairs Dr. Iram Anjum Khan and other senior officials of relevant departments were also in attendance.