Khaqan directs timely completion of road projects

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  • PM briefed on CPEC, Peshawar-Karachi Motorway and other important projects

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday directed the National Highway Authority (NHA) to ensure the completion of all road projects within the stipulated timeframe maintaining utmost transparency and without compromising the quality of civil works.

He gave these directives in a high-level meeting chaired by him wherein he was briefed by NHA Chairman Shahid Ashraf Tarar about various road connectivity projects undertaken by the authority. Federal Minister Hafiz Abdul Karim, State Minister Muhammad Junaid Anwaar Chaudhry and other officials also attended the meeting.

The NHA chairman apprised the meeting that at present, 39 highways, motorways, expressways and strategic roads with a total length of 12,131 kilometres were being operated and maintained by the authority which made for 4.6 per cent of total national road network but it carried 80 per cent of passenger and 65 per cent of freight traffic in the country.

The prime minister was briefed on important projects including China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Peshawar-Karachi Motorway that were strategically important in building the 21st century infrastructure for Pakistan with the ultimate objective to stimulate economic growth through accelerated regional trade activity.

It was briefed that one of the most significant aspect of the CPEC project was construction of a modern infrastructure that would allow the link between Khunjrab Pass and Gwadar. This entailed high strategic value, linking Khunjrab to Burhan with a 784km of the Karakoram Highway (KKH), out of which 335km from Khunjrab to Raikot had already been constructed in a short-span of time.

He said that remaining from Raikot to Islamabad was divided into three sub sections such as Raikot-Thakot, Thakot-Havelian and Havelian-Burhan (Hazara Motorway). The 59km Hazara Motorway was expected to complete by the end of 2017 with a cost of Rs34 billion whereas work on 120km Havelian-Thakot and 393km Sukkur-Multan Motorway had also commenced and expected to complete by 2019.

The NHA chairman said that the construction of the western route of the CPEC was among the top priorities of the government due to enormous economic benefits it entailed. He said that the route was divided in sections including Hakla-DI Khan (285km), DI Khan-Mughal Kot (124km), Mughal Kot-Zhob (81km), Zhob-Quetta (331km), Quetta-Sorab (221km), Sorab-Hoshab (449km) and Hoshab-Turbat-Gwadar (193km).

Up gradation of Zhob-Quetta (331km), Quetta-Sorab (221km) and Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab (193km) and Hoshab-Sorab (449km) have been duly completed while work on Zhob-Mughalkot and Hakla-DI Khan Expressway (285km) was in full swing and would be completed by 2018 with a cost of around Rs122 billion. The NHA chairman informed the meeting that timely construction of 1158km Peshawar-Karachi Motorway was another priority project.

Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway (136km) was being built on build-operate-transfer basis and would be completed this year whereas Multan-Lahore Motorway (230 km) would be completed with a cost of Rs149 billion. The prime minister was briefed that in order to reduce financial burden on national exchequer, the NHA was endeavoring to attract the private sector in its construction schemes.

Tarar said the efforts had also been made to enhance revenue by incorporating new technology and ensuring greater transparency. This had resulted into a steady increase in the annual revenue to the tone of Rs23 billion. He said greater transparency had resulted into colossal savings to the national exchequer.

It was highlighted that in just two years, over Rs58 billion were saved in 64 different projects. This was apart from over Rs180 billion that were saved through technical clarification meetings with the contractors on Sukkur-Multan, Thakot-Havelian and Lahore-Multan Motorway. Similar savings had resulted in maintenance related projects as well, he added.

1 COMMENT

  1. Karachi Hyderabad Motorway Needs attention and should be completed soon due to heavy rush. Motorists has to face much difficulties and much delays due to unplaned sub Standard diversions.

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