Hafiz Karim stresses joint efforts for timely completion of road projects

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 8 (APP): Federal Minister for Communications Hafiz
Abdul Karim has stressed upon the need of undertaking joint efforts with sincerity for earlier completion of the communications projects that would ultimately put country on the road to development.
He was presiding over a briefing session at here at the Ministry of
Communications Tuesday. Minister of State for Communications Muhammad
Junaid Anwaar Chaudhry, Parliamentary Secretary for Communications
Alamdad Lalika, Federal Secretary for Communications Muhammad Siddique Memon, National Highway Authority Chairman NHA Shahid Ashraf Tarar and
National Highways and Motorways Police Inspector General Shaukat Hayat.
Hafiz Abdul Karim said communications schemes played a key role in
socio-economic uplift of the country and their timely and quality construction stood among the government’s priorities. He desired to
remove technical difficulties in way of public welfare projects.
He assured that the Ministry of Communications would extend all
possible cooperation for communications development projects. He asked
the heads of the attached departments of ministry to utilize all the available resources for strengthening their departments.
He said the NH&MP was an exemplary department and the need was to
maintain its status of excellent service.
The NHA Chairman Shahid Ashraf Tarar, in his briefing, said the
basic objective of the NHA was to construct and maintain environmental friendly national highways, motorways, expressways and strategic roads
and to provide safe and sound journey to the road users.
Presently, he said, the NHA was controlling 49 highways with total
length of 13127 km, which was the only 5% of the total road network of
the country.
He said 80% commercial traffic was attached to the NHA’s network.
The Karachi-Lahore-Peshawar National Highway (N-5) passing through
three provinces handled 65% of the trade activity of the country, he
added.
He said about Rs 320 billion had been allocated for the NHA in the
current financial year.
Speaking about the bidding process of NHA, he said due to
transparency and participants of private sector in national highways projects, a considerable saving amounting to Rs 482 billion had been
made. Out of 13 motorway projects, he said, 11 projects were in the construction stage while two projects i-e- Faisalabad-Gojra and Khanewal-Multan Motorways had been completed.
During the last three years, he said 2500 km highways had been
added to the NHA network. The NHA was also focusing on road building
in Balochistan, he added.
He said during the last four years the NHA had not only revived the
sick projects but some of them had also been completed and the grand
Lowari Tunnel stood high among such projects which had been opened
to traffic, while Lyari Expressway in Karachi was likely to be completed
in October 2017.
NH&MP chief Shaukat Hayat told the meeting that prime objectives of
the NH&MP wereto regulate and control traffic on motorways and national highways, help people and commuters in distress, issuance of international standards driving licenses and coordinate with the NHA for provision of adequate road furniture. In all the administrative affairs, top priority
was attached to the merit, he added.
The minister was also briefed about the trade agreements of
Pakistan with neighbouring countries and Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.