|Multan: The project of Faisalabad-Multan motorway via Jhang was put in cold storage by the bureaucracy, which wanted to keep the southern Punjab backward. The funds allocated for this project were transferred to Lahore-Sialkot motorway while the traffic flow on Multan-Faisalabad is four times more than Sialkot because Multan connects all the four provinces with each other.|
Similar case was of Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway. Owing to snail pace of the project, the deadline for the completion of Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway (M-1) may be extended more than two years that will cause heavy loss to national exchequer.
"Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway requires around Rs 8 billion on immediate basis otherwise this project will not be completed on its stipulated June 2007," sources said here on Monday. The government in PSDP has allocated only Rs 1.6 billion for this project in 2006-07, while National Highway Authority (NHA) requires Rs 8 billion for its timely completion.
The 155 KM M-1 on Peshawar axis consists of 6-lane with three major bridges at Haro, Indus and Kabul rivers and around 15 flyovers. The project of Multan-Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur-Multan is also being delayed and funds diverted to Lahore, Gujranwala and Rawalpindi divisions. One side Bahawalpur road was constructed some four years ago and other side is awaiting for funds. Now Multan-Bahawalpur is in better condition while Bahawalpur-Multan road in unserviceable and submerged.
Sources said that against the scheduled progress of 80 percent the overall physical progress is just standing at 67 percent whereas the financial progress is not satisfactory, said the sources. The road sections on Islamabad-Bhurban (37-KM) and Rashakai-Charsada (23 KM) are completed and open for traffic while the remaining portion of 92 KM is incomplete.
Minister of State for Communication, Engr: Shahid Jamil Qureshi has said here on Monday that Hyderabad-Karachi Super Highway will be converted on to six-lane Motorway (M-9) within two years.
He said the road would form part of a wider network connecting the principal and populous cities of the country. The project will cost Rs 6.3 billion and the scope of works includes expansion of the road from four to six lanes and provision of service areas.
The minister said the authority had signed a concession agreement for the construction of 136km M-9, with the Standard Construction firm in September last year. But there had been some objections over the approval of the project. However, on January 16, 2007 after a comprehensive briefing by the NHA on this project National Highway Council (NHC) approved the M-9 project.
Minister claimed that the government had allocated Rs 31 billion for building and improvement of roads and bridges in South Punjab, he said the feasibility report for Multan-Faisalabad Motorway (M-4) had been completed and work on this project would start soon. He further said work on Shershah-Muzaffargarh Road was under way and this 36-km-long road, new bridge on the River Chenab and Muzaffargarh bypass would be completed by February 2009.
The minister said work on Faisalabad-Khanewal Motorway would also start during the current year. He added a number of new road projects had been launched in south Punjab.
He revealed the construction of 90-km-long road from Rahimyar Khan to Tando Allahyar had been started while work on 106-km-long road from Kashmore to Dera Ghazi Khan via Rajanpur would also start during the current year.
It may be mentioned here that M-9 will be country's first major project built on build, operate, transfer (BOT) basis whereby the contractor would construct the project and operate it for 25 years before handing it over to the government.
The project would generate Rs 9 billion under collection of toll tax, while the revenue share of NHA would be Rs 20 billion in 25 years. Eleven interchanges and 10 pedestrian underpasses would be built along the motor