(By Yasir Habib Khan):-
The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has finally approved Rs 4.669 billion for reclaiming the operational depth of Gwadar Port. In a meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal, CDWP approved the improvement and maintenance of the dredging project to restore the lost depth of the berths of Gwadar Port.
According to the details, the de-silting process will be completed this year, as the two bidding processes including technical proposals and financial proposals have been completed.
GPA Director of Marine Operations, Capt. Gull Muhammad, told Gwadar Pro that the expenditure of the dredging process is based on several factors including dollar fluctuation, fuel costs, and labour charges. He dispelled the idea that the functionality of Gwadar Port to deal with ships has been badly impacted and admitted that the port lost its 14.5-metre natural operational depth but clarified that the depth has not shrunk to 11.4 meters as claimed. He added that the last dredging operation took place in 2015.
A China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) official said that no de-silting activity has taken place in the last seven years. However, to claim that the depth of the port has shrunk to 11.4 meters from 14.5 metres, and that its capacity to handle mother vessels has been diminished, would be an exaggeration. He said that the port continues to berth and process mega-vessels in a suitable manner.