PM directs timely completion of road projects without compromising transparency, quality

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 4 (APP): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
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 Chairman National Highway Authority (NHA) Shahid Ashraf Tarar about various road connectivity projects undertaken by the authority.
The meeting was also attended by Federal Minister Hafiz Abdul
Karim, Minister of State Muhammad Junaid Anwaar Chaudhry and other
senior officials.
The NHA chairman apprised the meeting that at present, 39
highways, motorways, expressways and strategic roads with a total
length of 12,131 kilometers were being operated and maintained by
the NHA 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
784 km of Karakoram Highway (KKH), out of which 335 km from Khunjrab to Raikot had already been constructed in a short span of time.
He said remaining from Raikot to Islamabad was divided
into three sub sections such as Raikot-Thakot, Thakot-Havelian and
Havelian-Burhan (Hazara Motorway). The 59-kilometer Hazara Motorway
was expected to complete by the end of 2017 with a cost of Rs34 billion
whereas work on 120-km Havelian-Thakot and 393-km Sukkur-Multan
Motorway had also commenced and expected to complete by 2019.
The NHA chairman said 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 the route was divided in sections including Hakla-
D I Khan (285 km), D I Khan-Mughal Kot (124 Km), Mughal Kot-Zhob (81
Km), Zhob-Quetta (331 Km), Quetta-Sorab (221 Km), Sorab-Hoshab (449
km) and Hoshab-Turbat-Gwadar (193 Km).
Up gradation of Zhob-Quetta (331 km), Quetta-Sorab (221 km) and
Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab (193 km) and Hoshab-Sorab (449 km) have been duly completed while work on Zhob-Mughalkot and Hakla-D I Khan Expressway (285 km) 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 1158-km Peshawar-Karachi Motorway was another priority project.
Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway (136 km) 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.
He apprised the meeting that during the last two years, the
NHA completed 12 mega road projects including 58-km Multan-Khanewal
Motorway costing Rs14 billion, 150-km Qila Saifullah-Zhob (8.3
billion), 68-km Sukkur-Jacababaad (Rs 8.5 billion), 58-km
Faisalabad-Gojra Motorway (Rs 10.3 billion), 384-km Raikot-Khunjrab
($ 490 million), 64-km WaighumRud-Khjuri (Rs 13 billion), 7.6-km
Peshawar Northern Bypass (Package-I) (Rs 22 billion), 41.5-km
Babusar Top-Chilas Section (Rs 16 billion), Khushal Garh
Bridge/Access Roads (Rs 12 billion),
Earthquake Memorial Bridge, Muzaffarabad (Rs15 billion), 193-
km Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab (Rs 13 billion) and 449-km Sorab-Hoshab
Highway (Rs 22 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.
He said three major projects worth Rs144 billion were awarded on BOT
(Built-Operate-Maintenance) basis during the last two years
including modernization of Lahore-Islamabad Motorway (M-2) and
Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway (M-9).
Earnings of NHA from these projects were expected to pass well over
Rs350 billion, he added.
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.