Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said the newly-constructed Azakhel Dry Port in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Nowshera district would boost economic activities in the province and create jobs for the locals.
“The completion of the dry port within a year is a testimony to the performance of the current government and a clear message to those who question our ability to deliver to the public,” he said after inaugurating the project.
Addressing the opening ceremony, the premier said the biggest challenge for the PTI government was to turn the country into a welfare state.
Spread over 28 acres and located about 20 kilometres east from Peshawar on main GT Road in Nowshera district’s town Azakhel, the dry port has been built at a cost of Rs510 million.
It is equipped with modern loading and unloading facilities for the provision of speedy freight, heavy goods and shipments services to traders and industrialists.
The dry port has a one-window operation facility for which a facilitation centre, the office of the Pakistan Customs, Railways and the National Bank, and police check-up points have been established.
It can easily be approached through Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway via Rashakai interchange through Risalpur Road, GT Road and Ring Road Peshawar.
The freight and shipments, transported from Karachi sea-port, can easily be loaded and unloaded at the dry port before its onward transportation to Peshawar, K-P’s other districts and Afghanistan, through an enhanced roads and rails network.
Following the construction of a 1,872km long railway track from Peshawar to Karachi under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Azakhel Dry Port will make K-P, especially Peshawar, a hub of trade, business and foreign investment with a direct positive impact on people’s socio-economic lives.
Taking a jibe at his opponents, PM Imran said over the period of 70 years no heed was paid to the development of the railways “which is the major medium of travel for common man across the world”.
“The railway line decreased in length from the one inherited from British colonial rule due to rampant corruption and nepotism during the past government tenures,” he added.
The prime minister also said ML-1, a multibillion-dollar project under CPEC, will revolutionise the railways in the country.
ML-1 – a strategically important project is expected to be executed at a cost of $8.2 billion in five years.
Giving an example of one of the strongest economies, he said: “China leads the world in railways technology and Pakistan will benefit from its experience.”
Highlighting the PTI government’s vision of making the country a welfare state, PM Imran said his government had allocated Rs190 billion for the ‘Ehsaas’ programme to help uplift the status of lowest strata of the society.
Under the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme, five million houses are being constructed for the people of middle and lower income backgrounds, PM Imran said, adding that some 40 industries were allied with construction sector which would ultimately create ample job opportunities for the unemployed.
He also reaffirmed his government’s commitment for zero tolerance against corruption and urged the railways staff to work with full dedication and sincerity.