ISLAMABAD, Jan 5 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday inaugurated 293kms lengthy Hakla-DIKhan motorway, which is an important part of the Western route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Hakla-DIKhan motorway has 11 interchanges, 36 bridges, 33 flyovers and 119 underpasses. It would help in transforming DIKhan as one of the main business hubs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, linking South Punjab and Balochistan. It would also enable supply of agricultural produce to different parts of the country.
Speaking on the occasion the prime minister said previously the development of the country was confined only to GT road, Lahore and onwards to Karachi which were also called as Eastern route of the CPEC.
“But a country achieves progress if there is uniform development across its length and breadth. It is made possible due to long-term planning like China which has planned 30 years ahead,” he added.
The prime minister said the future planning would envisage a roadmap towards progress, embracing all parts of the country.
If few areas were developed the people living there would become rich, leaving behind other population of the backward areas in poverty. It was the biggest problem of the developing world, he added.
The ceremony was attended by Minister for Communication Murad Saeed, ministers, parliamentarians and officials of National Highway Authority (NHA).
The prime minister recollected that during 60s, Pakistan had long-term planning as the country’s biggest projects were conceived during that period.
The prime minister said that during the last 25 years, he had been consistently maintaining that corruption had been the biggest issue of Pakistan.
He said in the past, roads were constructed at expensive costs as the money was going into someone’s pockets. “Roads were constructed for making money. How it comes that roads during 2013 were constructed costly and now being completed at the lowest costs,” he expressed his wonder. The prime minister said construction of dual roads in the past cost double.
“About 1000 billion rupees had gone to the pockets of corrupt, and it happened with a poor nation,” he regretted.
Commending efforts of the minister for communication, the prime minister said his ministry had been among the top three performing ministries.
He said revenues of the National Highway Authority had been doubled after steps taken against corruption including E-tendering, besides, recovery of NHA encroached land worth Rs 5 billion.
He stressed that development should be ‘always inclusive’ without focusing on a particular segment of society.
The planning should be made in a way that no area or people were left behind, he said, adding Madina had been the most successful model of the world. In that state living standards of the people were raised.
The prime minister further said people in the far-off areas, were deprived of health facilities and stressed upon provision of education and justice.
He said the people in the backward areas like Mianwali would have the facility of availing the best treatment facilities due to the health cards.
Each family would get treatment worth Rs1 million free of cost. Such initiative would also enable the private sector to establish a health network in these areas, he added.
The prime minister said Hakla-DIKhan would connect those areas which were less developed. The lack of facilities forced the inhabitants of DIKhan and Mianwali to move to developed cities which also resulted in the brain drain and flight of talent.
He expressed the confidence that the motorway would go a long way in raising the standards of living of these areas and by reducing the distance from seven hours to three hours from Islamabad to DIKhan.
The prime minister said such prospects would also augur well for the bright future of Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed said that work on Hakla-Dera Ismail Khan Motorway had been completed with the deployment of NHA personnel.
He said National Highway Authority (NHA)’s total revenues were increased by 125 percent, witnessing Rs102 billion increase in the last three years.
He said that an amount of Rs5 billion was recovered from retrieving the encroached land.
Providing further details, Murad said NHA had completed work on about 2032 kilometers of roads and planned construction of further 7889 kms roads.
He said his ministry had achieved the five years targets within three years span. Construction of dual lanes per km now stood around Rs111 million while its cost during the previous government was Rs118 per km whereas four-lane cost per km was now 170 million rupees compared with Rs370 million spent by the past government.
He said all this was achieved despite a surge in global inflation and the cost of materials.
The minister said that E-procurement was launched for transparency and also completed GIS field survey of all roads.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, unlike the previous rulers, had completed work on road projects at half cost and also started work on additional roads network, he added.
The minister said a true leadership always thought of the country and its people ahead of everything.