Following the vision of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, National Highway Authority (NHA) has been striving to expand and modernize road network in the country to keep up with growing needs of the transport.

An official of NHA told the media on Saturday that Pakistan’s present leadership has made development of an integrated road network one of its top most priorities and game changer projects like China Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Peshawar Karachi Motorway are parts of the same effort.

The authority, he said, has been developing infrastructure projects through private sector on Build Operate Transfer (BOT) basis.

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.”

“The Corridor project comprises modern highway and railway transportation system; linking Kashgar in West China, to Khunjerab in the north and onwards to Karachi and Gawadar in the south of Pakistan through multiple routes,” he said.

He said that, ‘”The 784 km segment from Khunjerab to Burhan consists of Karakoram Highway (KKH), out of which 335 km from Khunjerab to Raikot has already been upgraded. Remaining from Raikot to Islamabad is divided into three sub sections i.e. Raikot Thakot, Thakot Havelian and Havelian Islamabad.”

He said that, “Construction work on 120 km Thakot Havelian section of Hazara Motorway has started after its ground breaking by the Prime Minister. He said that work on 59 km Burhan Havelian of Hazara Motorway going smoothly and it will be completed by end 2017, at cost of Rs 34 billion. This road link is part of Pakistan China Economic Corridor agreement.”

“The 60 km long expressway will reduce the drive time from Islamabad to Havelian to just 30 minutes,” he said.

“Also, it will facilitate the Havelian Dry Port project,” he added.

“Such projects act as guarantors of economic and social well being while boosting employment, reducing cost of accessing markets, providing means of improved opportunities and ensuring the provision of basic services at the grassroots level,” he said.

“Karachi Hyderabad motorway (M 9) which connects Karachi to Hyderabad is going to be 136 km long with 16 exits and will cost about Rs 24 billion. The Project was inaugurated on March 16, 2015 and it is expected to be completed by March 2017,” he said.

He said that, “During past three years the NHA has completed 58 km Multan Khanewal Motorway which cost Rs 14 Billion, 150 km Qila Saifullah Zhob Highway which cost Rs 8.3 billion, 68 km Sukkur Jacababad which cost Rs 8.5 billion.”

He said that, “The NHA also completed Rs 10.3 billion Faisalabad Gojra section of Motorway which has the total length of 58 Km,384 km Raikot Khunjerab which cost 490 million dollar, 64 km WaighumRud Khjuri road at the cost of Rs 13 billion, 7.6 km Peshawar Northern Bypass (Package I) which cost Rs 22 billion.”

“Other projects completed during past three years include 41.5 km Babusar Top Chilas Road which cost Rs 16 billion, 3.6 km Khushalgarh Bridge/Access Roads which cost Rs 12 billion, Earthquake Memorial Bridge, Muzaffarabad which cost Rs 15 billion and 193 km Gawadar Turbat Hoshab Highway which Rs 13 billion,” he said.

He said that Sialkot Lahore Motorway Project to be built in near future, begins from Saahowala Sambrial and lead to Lahore along the banks of two local main canals namely Marala Ravi Link (MR Link )Canal through Motra Daska and Bambaanwala Ravi Baidian (BRB) Canal Daska.