Havelian dry port set to be completed by year-end

ISLAMABAD: The proposed Havelian dry port in the Haripur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will facilitate the freight trade between Pakistan and China.
The dry port is a proposed project of Pakistan Railways, and will be financed through the Chinese government’s concessional loans.
The port will have railhead facilities, high speed/capacity stock, an off-dock terminal for handling bonded import/export containers to meet the demand of future freight traffic under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. It will initially serve as a dry port and container terminal for products arriving by road from China via the Karakoram Highway.
According to Hassan Daud Butt, chief executive officer of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment, the development of Havalian Dry Port would spur growth and prosperity in the region by providing jobs to the locals and raising their living standards. “The project will attract massive domestic and international investment, reducing unemployment, increasing per-capita income, and improving the quality of life for local residents.”
He informed WealthPK that technical and financial aspects of the project had been fine-tuned and the project was likely to be launched during this year. He said the dry port project would help ‘transform’ Pakistan’s economy.
He said the project would cost $65 million, covering development of the dry port as well as upgradation of Main Line-1 (ML-1), a 682-kilometre-long railway line linking Havelian to the Chinese city of Kashgar.
Daud Butt said the railway line will provide access for goods from China and other East Asian countries to ports in Pakistan, adding the Havelian dry port would ensure uninterrupted logistics flow of cargo on the CPEC route.
He said the Havelian dry port will be one of the key dry ports in Pakistan as it is located at the most important cross-sections, ensuring overall transportation connectivity.
Daud Butt said the project was supposed to be completed in 2022, but delays were caused due to delay in feasibility study and lack of funds as no budget was announced for the project in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2021-22. He said now for the project’s initial launch, a budget of Rs5,000 million has been provided in the PSDP 2022-23, including foreign aid of Rs100 million.
Daud Butt said the project would help Pakistan in many ways, as in addition to boosting trade with China, it will also create significant commercial and economic opportunities. “The project will reduce freight costs, save foreign exchange, and help promote the country’s business and tourism sectors.”