With the completion of under-construction motorways and highways projects in next few years, road landscape in the country would be transformed and Pakistan will become hub of regional trade.
In an interview to APP General Manager Design National Highway Authority (NHA) Asim Amin said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has given the task to NHA for early completion of these road projects which also include alignments of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
These roads will open new vistas of opportunities for the people of the adjacent areas, he added.
Asim said that completion of ongoing NHA projects, most of which are being constructed in comparatively less developed areas of country especially Khyber Pakhtunkhaw and Balochistan
will help end the sense of deprivation among the people.
The projects will prove catalyst in transformation of the destiny of the people of Pakistan in general and the less developed area in particular. He said presently either road projects are being executed or are at planning stage in all parts of Pakistan. He said that Allah Almighty has bestowed Pakistan with such geography that about 40 per cent of world population lives in its vicinity and it can act as a gateway between the most populous countries of the world India and China.
The NHA GM said that the main objectives of NHA are to develop high speed north-south economic corridor, provide linkages with Gawadar Port and enhance regional connectivity. Asim Amin said that presently the NHA’s portfolio has crossed Rs 1000 billion which used to be 50 to 60 billion a few years back. To a question, he said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the name of building roads from Khunjerab to Gwadar.A number of sections of this mega project he said have been completed and remaining sections are under construction.
He said 335 km Khunjerb-Raikot section of the Karakoram Highway (N-35) has already been upgraded while for upgradation of Raikot-Thakot section of the highway damaged during
2010 floods,China has given $ 70 million grant and its 136 km portion has been rehabilitated while for the remaining 140 km section talks for another grant worth $ 80 million were underway. The NHA GM said that construction work of Havelian-Thakot Motorway section is in full swing and it is expected to be completed in three years time.
The stretch of motorway from Havelian passes through Abbottabad, Mansehra and Shinkiari, ending at Thakot. Asim said that work on 59 km Burhan-Havelian of Hazara Motorway going smoothly and it will be completed next year.
About Hakla-Dera Ismail Khan Expressway,he said that construction of a 285km new road between Halka, an area near Islamabad, and Dera Ismail Khan has been divided into five parts to ensure that the work is completed in two years. He said Halka-Dera Ismail Khan road was the biggest missing link in the proposed western route, and it would be completed by August 2018.
One of the major projects of CPEC is the widening of 533km two-lane Dera Ismail Khan-Quetta Highway,he said. Under the project, the road will be turned into a four-lane carriageway. Its
feasibility study has been carried out by the National Engineering Services of Pakistan,he said.He said that ground-breaking of the up-gradation of Zhob-Mughalkot section was performed by Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif in December 2015.
The NHA GM said that up-gradation of Zhob-Quetta highway has also been realised while Sorab-Hoshab section was recently inaugrated. He said 193 Km Hoshab-Turbat-Gwadar portion has been completed.
He said rehabilitation of DI Khan-Mughalkot section of N-50 would be completed by 2018. Moreover, he said that dualization of 531 km DI Khan to Kuchlak section of N-50 would be operational by 2020.
About dualisation of 211 km Quetta-Kalat-Surab section, he said it was planned to be completed by 2020. Asim said the NHA would also strengthen East West Connectivity through Baluchistan and extend across all provinces including the Gilgit Baltistan.
He told that Western Corridor is divided in 6 sections including Hakla-Dera Ismail Khan 288km, Dhera Ismail Khan-Zhob 205km, Zohrab-Quetta 331 KM, Quetta-Sohrab 211km, Sohrab-Hoshab 449 KM, and Hoshab-Gwadar 193km.
He said that western route is passing through less developed areas of KPK and Balochistan with this route people living in these areas would get jobs. He said that during past three years the NHA has completed 58 km Multan-Khanewal Motorway which cost Rs14 billion, 150 km Qila Saifullah-Zhob Highway which cost Rs8.3 billion, 68 km Sukkur-Jacababad which cost Rs8.5 billion.
Moreover he said that the NHA also completed Rs10.3 billion Faisalabad-Gojra section of Motorway which has the total length of 58Km, 384 km Raikot-Khunjerab which cost Rs490 million, 64 km
Waighum Rud Khjuri road at the cost of Rs13 billion, 7.6 km Peshawar Northern Bypass (package I) which cost Rs22 billion.