ISLAMABAD: Chairman National Highway Authority (NHA) Shahid Ashraf Tarar has said that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will lay the foundation stone of the western route of CPEC next month.
Briefing the media persons here, the Chairman NHA said that earlier Rs 20 billion were allocated for construction of the road links on the western route which has been doubled now to Rs40 billion, and it will be completed in three years.
He said that for first time in the history of the country, development projects worth Rs750 billion have been initiated through public-private partnership and completion of all these projects will change the entire portrait of the country.
The chairman NHA said that Karachi-Hyderabad Highway was being turned into 6-lanes motorway and the project will be completed in March 2017. Government will not spend any money from its own resources on the projects because these will be accomplished on BOT basis. He said that North-South motorway from Peshawar to Karachi will be completed in three years while development work on East-West motorway was also in progress. Balochistan and Sindh were being given priority in the projects, he informed.
He said that 6-lane motorway and highways from Gilgit to Hyderabad will have positive financial impact on at least 42 industries resulting in one percent of national income.
He said that M-2 project which was completed in 1997 has not been repaired and improved despite passage of 18 years. The government has started the repair work of the said route for which Frontier Works Organization (FWO) has been tasked the responsibility. The repair work will be completed by August 2016 and it would generate an income of Rs 206 billion for the government in next 20 years, he maintained.
Shahid Ashraf said that M-4 motorway project will link Faisalabad with Multan and will be accomplished with the cooperation of Asian Development Bank (ADB).
He said that M-3 will lead to Multan and Khanewal from Lahore and the PM will lay foundation stone of the project on December 19.
The chairman NHA said that Sukkur-Hyderabad and Hyderabad-Karachi motorways, M-5 & M-6 would also be constructed, while Multan-Sukkur motorway was part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. He said that for the said projects loan on 2% markup will be acquired from World Bank (WB) and it will be returned after 25 years.
He said that M-7 Muzaffargarh-DG Khan will be turned into dual carriage while feasibility report of Lahore-Sialkot motorway has also been finalized for which two companies were interested for the bid and the said project will also be completed on BoT basis.
Shahid Ashraf said that Pakistani and Chinese engineers after 20-days of travelling prepared feasibility report for road link from Khunjrab to Karakurram Highway (KKH), Hassanabdal to Darya Khan, Rajanpur, Mango Hill, Jacobabad and Khuzdar. M-8 from Khuzdar to Turbat and then to Gwadar has also been planned and the CPEC project will be completed in 15-year time period in phases.
He said that the Hassanabdal-DI Khan motorway will connect M-5 with Konala, Quetta, Mughalkot, Zhob, Kachlaq, Sourab, Panjgur, Turbat and then Gawadar and its feasibility report was finalized on October 31, 2015. The 280 kilometer road will be completed in 3 years and in the first phase it will be 4-lane and later be turned into 6-lane.
He further said that 80km road between Mughalkot and Zhob will be constructed and its foundation stone will be laid in January.
The 454km road projects between Gwadar and Sohrab will be completed by December 2016 while 193km Gawadar-Turban road will also be constructed as a part of western route.
The chairman NHA said that a web of roads will be laid from Bajaur Agency to FR Jandola and Zhob for which feasibility report was being prepared. He said that FATA will be linked to CPEC project which would provide links to Central Asian States including Kirghizstan, Tajikistan,Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. Through Chaman, Herat and Mazar Sharif one can reach Central Asian States and it will also connect China and Pakistan.