Islamabad: According to a news source, Chairman of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority Lt-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa (retd) announced on Sunday (May 23) via his official Twitter account that significant work has begun on the 103-kilometer long Nokundi-Mashkel Road project in Balochistan to boost connectivity with Iran.

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Other road projects currently under construction to improve road connectivity between the two countries through Balochistan were also discussed by the CPEC chairman. He went on to say that a comprehensive design for the 200-kilometer Mashkel-Panjgur Road was currently being worked on.

The isolated regions of Balochistan will be made more accessible by linking National Highway (N)-40 with N-85 and Ratodero Motorway (M-8), also known as the Western Route of CPEC. He added that the new road links would connect the Chagai-Nokundi sector to Gwadar.

Gwadar is becoming the center of all economic activities as a result of the CPEC’s infrastructure developments. To boost Gwadar’s connectivity with the rest of the country, Bajwa believes it is critical to establish road projects in South Balochistan.

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Construction of Hoshab Awaran Road has started, according to another CPEC official, whose name was not disclosed in the news item, while development work on Baisma-Khuzdar Road is 60 percent complete. The 146-kilometer Hoshab-Awaran Road, which will link Gwadar Port to Sindh, is expected to be finished in three years for PKR 20 billion. The construction of the 106-kilometer long Basima-Khuzdar Road, which is expected to cost PKR 11.749 billion, will be completed by the end of the current year.

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The official also provided information on the projects that have already been completed and put into action as part of the CPEC initiative. These include the Quetta-Hoshab (N-85) and Surab-Quetta (N-25) highways, as well as the Ratodero-Khuzdar (M-8) and Gwadar-Hoshab highways.

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