China joint venture offers lowest bid for construction of Gilgit-Shandoor Road

ISLAMABAD, Jan. 21 (INP): A joint venture of China’s Ningxia Communications Construction Co. Ltd. (NXCC) and Pakistan’s Rustam Associates has emerged as the ‘most advantageous’ bidder for package-I of Gilgit-Shandoor Road.

According to Gwadar Pro, the project is part of Chitral-Gilgit Road on Western alignment of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Work on Chitral-Shandoor Road is already underway.

Total cost of the 216 km Gilgit-Shandoor Road is estimated at Rs50 billion, which is also part of the Gilgit-Baltistan Integrated Development Package of Rs370 billion announced by the current federal government.

The road will also provide for an alternate route of the historic Karakoram Highway or China-Pakistan Friendship Highway.

After completion of the entire road network, Gilgit will be connected with the Islamabad-Peshawar (M-1) Motorway through at least four different routes.

NXCC/Rustam JV has offered to build the 70 kilometres long section of the Gilgit-Shandoor road at a cost of Rs10.24 billion, the National Highway Authority announced the other day. The highest bid for package-I came at Rs15 billion, according to the authority.

According to Rule 35 of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority, government entities are bound to accept the ‘most advantageous’ bid and announce the same at least 15 days before awarding the contract.

According to reports, the 363 km long Gilgit-Chitral Road will be commutable round the year including winter when heavy snowfall obstructs vehicular traffic on the existing Silk Route.

The road passes through some of the most remote and deprived areas of the country and is expected to usher in a new area of development in Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan. These are among the most desirable destinations for local as well as foreign tourists and the project is expected to bring about a revolution in tourism sector in the region.

The project will be funded through Public Sector Development Program of the federal government.

INP/javed