ISLAMABAD: The government has formulated a comprehensive policy to undertake projects under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode to construct motorways and highways while providing an opportunity to the private sector to invest in the public sector road building schemes to support and sustain Pakistan’s rapid rate of economic growth.
The National Highway Authority (NHA) has the responsibility of countrywide planning, construction, operation and maintenance of motorways, national highways, strategic roads, bridges and tunnels. The total length of road network of the country is about 264, 000 kilometres while the total length of 51 motorways and national highways under the NHA is 13, 572 kilometres, which include 11, 255 kms-38 national highways, 2, 055 kms-10 motorways, and 262 kms-3 strategic roads.
As per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Ministry of Communications, NHA has successfully started working on construction of motorways and national highways under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. In this regard an Act has also been approved for effective implementation of such projects. The Public Private Partnership Authority and Cell have been made functional at the NHA headquarters. The Cell has made practical advancement for private sector participation in national highways, motorways, tunnels and bridges projects in the country.
Sharing data with reporter, Director Public Relations National Highway Authority (NHA) Mariam Mumtaz said that the Authority considers that the technical, managerial and financial resources of the private sector can make a useful addition to its own efforts. She said, “After carefully evaluating a wide range of alternatives, NHA has decided to encourage the private sector to participate in a number of significant projects of national highways and motorways as well as a limited number of tunnel and bridge projects with the view to support and sustain Pakistan’s rapid rate of economic growth.” This initiative will not only prepare the ground to promote construction industry but will help at large to reduce financial load on national exchequer, she added.
Federal Minister for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed has also emphasized upon the executive officers, construction experts and engineers to play operative role to further accelerate the construction process for early realization of projects under Public Private Partnership mode, so that more roads could be built without financial support from national exchequer. He said, “Completion of motorways and national highways projects would enable people to avail better transportation facility thus paving the way for uplift of agricultural, industrial and trade activity besides giving impetus for development to construction sector.
It is vision of the incumbent government to substantially increase the road density till 2030 and achieving this mammoth development goal is only possible with the support of private sector. It is pertinent to mention that countrywide motorways and national highways projects are being taken under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) programme.
According to the data, during the last a few years, NHA remained successful in providing conducive atmosphere for private sector investment in road building schemes and to date has completed four projects of worth around Pak Rs135 billion under the PPP on Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis. The construction of 2 Km long new flyover (Habibabad bridge) located on N-5 is one of the projects completed on PPP at cost of Rs 0.831 billion.
Likewise, overlay and modernization of 357 kilometres Lahore-Islamabad Motorway has also been realized costing more than Rs46 billion. The conversion of 4-Lane highway into six lane Karachi-Hyderabad motorway was also taken on PPP mode. This 136 km long motorway was completed at cost of Rs. 44.251 billion. Another success of NHA is the completion of 89 km long Lahore-Sialkot motorway. This 4 Lane motorway is built with 6 lane structures at cost of Rs. 43.847 billion. This motorway has linked industrial city of Sialkot with motorways network of the country. On successful completion all these projects are operational now.
Pursuant to PSDP plus Programme of the government, NHA has developed a comprehensive portfolio and accordingly nine more projects having a total length of 1726 Kms, are in pipeline for implementation through the PPP modality. Completion of Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway will realize the dream of Peshawar-Karachi motorway (PKM), and travelling time between Peshawar and Karachi would be reduced to only 16 hours from two-day travelling.
The main purpose of inviting the best professionals in their respective field was to invite fresh ideas regarding procurement of only missing motorway link i.e. Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway to complete the high speed North-South Economic Corridor. The NHA is endeavoring for earlier start of construction activity on this mega project. Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway will be 306 km long, 14 interchanges, one major bridge on River Indus, 6 flyovers, 10 service areas and 12 rest areas will also be built along this motorway. The project is planned to be completed in 30 months at construction cost of approximately Pak Rs190 billion with Intelligent Transport System (ITS).
The construction of 69 Km long new 4 lane motorway from Sialkot to Kharian has already been advertised with last date of submission of bid of April 30, 2021. Construction of new motorway from Kharian to Rawalpindi (115 Km), will also be realized with private sector financing. Existing 129 km, 2-lane Balkasar-Mianwali road will also be dualised into 4-lane highway.
In order to facilitate the travellers, this road is being repaired presently. This road will be extended from Mianwali to Muzaffargarh into 4-lane highway. The length of this road is 286 Km. Construction of Barakahu Flyover, Islamabad is an important project, that is planned on PPP mode at N-75. This flyover will help smooth flow of traffic and remove traffic congestion at Barakahu. The length of this flyover will be 4 km. Similarly a 7 km long new flyover is also planned at Shahdara on N-5.
The flyover will help discipline traffic there, thus saving time and fuel charges to a great extent. National Highway Authority has also planned construction of 20 km long Lyari Elevated Freight Corridor in Sindh. This corridor will link Karachi Port with Karachi-Hyderabad motorway (M-9), thus linking rest of the country with the port of Karachi. 790 km Karachi-Quetta-Chaman National Highway N-25 possesses great significance with regard to trade activity between Sindh and Balochistan. Work on its dualization will be started this year. This will enable people to avail better transport facility. While new employment opportunities will also be generated for the local in particular.