Sunday, 16 July 2017

LDA finalizes Lahore twin tower project

LAHORE: Much awaited news for Lahoris has finally arrived as Lahore Development Authority has finalzed the construction of 29 storey twin towers on Jail road, Lahore.



As per DCiP sources, Benevolent Fund department will provide Rs. 2 billion to LDA. Land casting will be done in Rs. 1 billion and 400 million. LDA will provide Rs. 600 million to contractors and Rs. 504.7 million will be obtained through advance booking. Advance booking is expected to start after the construction of first ten floors.

Location


Twin tower will be built on a plot on Jail road next to Qurban lines beside Lahore Cantonment railway station.



Features

Twin tower will be 300 ft tall structure and will have 25 floors above ground and 4 basements. It will be a mixed-use building. Features are as follows:

  • Commercial Center
  • Offices
  • Shopping Mall
  • Apartments
  • Playland
  • Cinema
  • Swimming Pool
  • Five star hotel
  • Roof top restaurant
  • Food Court

Timeframes and deadlines


Pre-qualification of contractors will be completed by 15 August 2017. Tender documents will be provided to contractors in September 2017. Successful contractor will get Civil Contract Award in October 2017.

Construction of basement will be completed by 15 January 2018. First 3 floors will be completed by May 2018. 10 floors will be completed by Oct 2018. While entire 25 floors structure will be topped out in June 2019. After that interior work and cladding will start.


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Daewoo Launches Its Own Ride Hailing App

Daewoo which was one of those premium cab services back in the old days has now released a new app to compete with other ride hailing apps Careem and Uber directly.

The service is available in the following cities:
  • Lahore
  • Rawalpindi/Islamabad
  • Karachi
  • Multan
  • Peshawar
  • Abbottabad
  • Sialkot
  • Faisalabad
  • Sukkur

 


Users in Karachi will be able to use the promo code DAEWOOFIRST to get Rs. 300 off their first ride in the city.
Daewoo offers business cars only (Toyota Corolla XLI and similar cars) and is much more expensive in comparison. The fare is much higher than Careem or Uber. A similar route (as seen in the image above) costs Rs. 230-250 on Careem Go and Rs. 150-200 on UberGo (Rs. 480 through Daewoo Cab). Granted the service offers business cars only but not everyone can afford to pay that much on every trip. Swipe right from the main booking page and you can access payment options, editing your settings, ride history, contact info etc. The wallet option is particularly useful if you have used Careem. Daewoo has picked up on that and added it in their app.

You can also add an EasyPaisa account or credit/debit card for payment by tapping on “Add Payment Method”. This gives the app a slight advantage in terms of payment options versus its rivals which don’t offer EasyPaisa payment.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Contract of Lahore airport expansion awarded to Chinese company

The Pakistani government has awarded a contract worth nearly $382 million to a Chinese company to reconstruct Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport, the Chinese state-owned People's Daily newspaper reported Tuesday.


China Construction Third Engineering Bureau won the 2.6 billion RMB contract to engineer, procure, and construct the reimagined Lahore airport, which will become Pakistan's largest after the reconstruction is completed, the report claimed.

"It is the largest project that the Third Engineering Bureau has undertaken overseas, marking another important achievement in Belt and Road construction," the newspaper, which is a Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, said in its report.

Prior to this, the same Chinese company was awarded a number of major projects in Pakistan including the Karachi-Lahore Expressway between Sukkur and Multan, Lahore's Arfa Software Technology Park, and The Centaurus Hotel.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has championed what China formally calls the “One Belt, One Road” or OBOR initiative to build a new Silk Road linking Asia, Africa and Europe, a landmark programme to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects including railways, ports and power grids.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the flagship programme of OBOR. The construction of an international airport in Gwadar is also part of CPEC.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Contract of Shalimar express awarded for Rs. 1.8 billion


LAHORE -  The Pakistan Railways (PR) has awarded a two-year contract to S. Jamil and Company to run Shalimar Express on highest bidding of Rs. 1.8 billion.
An agreement signing ceremony in this regard was held at Railways headquarters in presence of Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique. The contract has been awarded for two years on total amount of Rs. 1.8 billion while an amount of Rs. 1.9 million will be submitted to the Pakistan Railways in advance. Moreover, the company will make payment of Rs. 30.43 million weekly.
Around 12 companies had shown interest in running Shalimar Express including Daewoo, Al Baraka, Mazari Group and others but they could not win the project during the bidding. According to the privatisation agreement, the Pakistan Railways will hold trains operational system while private sector will hold train management.
Pakistan Railways was earning Rs. 660 million annually from privatization of Shalimar Express train during the last five years. The train that runs between Lahore and Karachi daily was given to private sector in 2012.
Later talking to media, Railways Minister Saad Rafique said that now the losses of the department have been reduced to Rs. 27 billion which were Rs. 33 billion in 2013. He said that after upgradation of railway track, trains will run at the speed of 160 kilometer per hour. He claimed that the condition of railways was much better than in 2013. He said Pakistan Railways had introduced e-ticketing system for 40 trains to facilitate passengers in booking their seats from anywhere across the country.
The minister said that with the passage of time the condition of all trains would improve, adding that criticism was good but positive steps should also be appreciated.

Alpha-Beta-Gamma Pakistan City Rankings


Created in the Geography Department at Loughborough University, this network focuses upon research into the external relations of world cities. Although the world/global city literature is premised upon the existence of world-wide transactions, most of the research effort has gone into studying the internal structures of individual cities and comparative analyses of the same. Relations between cities have been neglected by world cities researchers; the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Research Network has been formed to aid in rectifying this situation.

2016 - http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/world2016t.html
2012 - http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/world2012t.html



City | 2016 Rank | 2012 Rank


Karachi | #74 BETA | #82 BETA (Increased By 8)

Lahore | #103 BETA - | #127 GAMMA+ (Increased By 24)

Islamabad | #129 BETA - | #133 GAMMA+ (Increased By 4)

Chinese Fortune 500 company are among bidders for Pak railways upgradation



BEIJING: After a marked improvement in the country’s security situation, top companies in China that have a proven record of quality and safety are eying to clinch multibillion contracts to upgrade Pakistan’s dilapidated railways infrastructure under the $8-billion ML-I project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The China Railways Group – a Fortune 500 company known as CREC – and China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the largest international Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor of Asia, are among the four Chinese companies competing for the $8 billion ML-I project.

Pakistan would pick one of them to complete the project in two phases.

During a visit to their headquarters in Beijing, officials from these two companies briefed a group of journalists from South Asia about their future investment plans under the One-Belt One-Road Strategic Initiative. The companies also arranged visits to projects they have completed in China. These include the world’s largest bridges, tunnels, roads and bullet trains.

“We are interested to invest in Pakistan and are looking for appropriate opportunities,” said Xu Meng, Deputy General Manager of Marketing Department of CCCC International. He said that CCCC was one of the four Chinese companies competing for the ML-I project.

“The CCCC is fully capable of building sound railways infrastructure in Pakistan,” said Xu.

“The security is no more a big challenge in Pakistan and the company has not experienced any major accident during its past two years of work,” said Xu. He thanked Pakistani authorities for providing foolproof security to Chinese nationals working on CPEC projects in Pakistan.

“The financing agreement for ML-I project can be signed next month on the sidelines of the OBOR Summit being held in Beijing,” said Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal, on Monday while talking to The Express Tribune.

In September last year, Iqbal had said that China would provide $5.5 billion in a concessionary loan for the expansion and renovation of Pakistan’s main rail link that connects north to south as part of its investment under CPEC. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) would provide $2.5 billion to cover the remaining cost of the project, he had said.

The CCCC was in negotiations with Pakistani authorities on financing and construction model of the ML-I project, said the Deputy GM of CCCC. The CCCC is one of the world’s largest infrastructure companies. It is also the largest international EPC contractor in Asia. In 2016, CCCC was awarded 108 projects worth $16.4 billion under the OBOR initiative, said Li Qingwei, Executive Vice President, CCCC International.

The company is also working on Karakoram Highway-II project of the CPEC and intends to complete it in March 2020.

Pakistan is a central part of China’s transition from a regional to global power. In its vast network of ports, pipelines, roads and railways, Pakistan and its strategic deep-sea port of Gwadar serve as a staging post for China’s economic rise as a global player. The port will extend China’s reach from the Indian Ocean to a number of regions.

The CREC of China Railway Group is one of the world’s largest construction and engineering contractors. It is one of the world’s top 500 enterprises, standing at 57 among Fortune World Top 500 companies in 2016.

The CREC has been pushing forward ML-I Railway Upgrading and Reconstruction Project in Pakistan, said the company’s officials during visit to its headquarter in Beijing. They said that South Asia was one of the most important marketing areas for the CREC.

The company official said that ML-1 Railway Upgrading and Reconstruction project is 1,872 km in length. It is composed of five subprojects, which is ML-1 line and 1,872 km upgrade of Harvey connection line, new line 2, new Harvey land connecting harbour, station comprehensive development and the renovation of railway institute training centre, respectively.

The early stage of the projects is the soft soil treatment, rail replacement, the reconstruction of the bridge culvert tunnel, reconstruction of crossing and vehicles, new lines construction and signal renovation, etc.

The company official said that project would comprise two phases – the short-term to be completed by 2020 and long-term by 2030. The short-term planning is further divided into two stages, which is Phase I to be finished in 2018 and Phase II, to be finished in 2020.  The long-term planning is Phase III, with an expected completion from 2025 to 2030, said the company official.

The CREC has set up a Preparatory Group of Pakistan ML-1 railway project that is in charge of the project promoting. At present, the official said, the company is in close collaboration with relevant state ministries and commissions in China and Pakistan to prepare the upcoming video meeting.

At the same time, it has arranged a setting for all contractors to optimise the construction organisation design and exchanged ideas deeply with project design team to learn the progress.

In addition, to be better prepared for the project, our company is negotiating related issues with Pakistan office in a timely manner, said the official.

All Entry and Exit Points of Islamabad to be equipped with Facial Recognition RFID System


All entry and exit points of the federal capital would be equipped with Radio Frequency Identification barrier by May this year enabling smooth entry and exit of the commuters and ensuring enhanced security of the federal capital.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has directed ICT Traffic Police to make intercity connection easier for the commuters.

The Minister directed Chairman NADRA to work on dovetailing the RFID system with facial recognition technology for enhanced security and facilitation purposes.

He has also directed that through the use of technology these points should be connected with the Safe City.

It was decided that additional lanes would be added, on need and land-availability basis, at all entry and exit points of the capital to ease traffic congestion at these terminals.

The decision was taken during high level meeting chaired by Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan at the Interior Ministry. The meeting was attended among others by Acting Secretary Interior Tariq Mehmood Khan, Advocate General, Chief Commissioner Islamabad, Chairman NADRA, IG Islamabad, and senior officers of ICT police, administration and Interior Ministry. Representatives of NHA and CDA also attended the meeting.


Addressing the meeting, the Interior Minister expressed dissatisfaction over the present state of traffic management on the main highways especially the roads linking the twin cities including the Express Highway, Kashmir Road and the Murree road.

The Minister observed that despite tall claims and rosy presentations, little improvement has been witnessed on ground in the traffic management system and citizens continue to face logjam during peak hours. This cannot go on, observed the Minister. He directed IG Police to personally monitor traffic situation and to ensure smooth flow of traffic especially on the highways with higher traffic volume.

The Minister directed that scientific methods should be adopted for traffic management with distinct traffic flow plan for the peak hours and lean timings.

The Minister directed ITP, NHA, CDA and NADRA for expeditious completion and operation of free lanes on the highways linking the twin cities.

He said that RFID tag system with distinct color would save the commuters from the hassles of frequent security checks at various police check points and would enable the ICT Police to ensure optimum utilization of its human resource.

The Minister also gave two weeks time to NADRA and ICT administration for working out modalities of cost calculation and issuance provision of RFID tags to the regular commuters.

The minister also directed NADRA to continue upgrading its systems and software so as to incorporate state of the art technologies in its database system. He gave two weeks time to Chairman NADRA to submit a detailed plan regarding upgradation of NADRA technologies and software.

He also directed that traffic on the roads of the capital should be organized and implementation of traffic rules should be ensured. The Minister directed ITP police to ensure wide circulation of public awareness campaign followed by strict implementation of the vehicle registration rules after the expiry of relaxation period of 15 days.

Non-implementation of traffic rules, tainted windows, fake or fancy registration plates should be discouraged thorough legal action against the violators, observed the Minister.

The minister also directed ICT Police, Traffic Police and NADRA for devising a mechanism for optimum utilization of SAFE CITY cameras for crime and traffic management. The presence of over 1950 cameras covering major all highways and arteries of the federal capital should be utilized in an optimum manner for curbing crime rate and to ensure smooth traffic flow in the capital.

Policing and counter-terrorism, said the Minister, are laborious tasks that need continuous efforts and optimum utilization of all resources available.

The minister directed the ICT Police and administration for greater attention towards improved emergency and response system in case any untoward incident.