ISLAMABAD - About 93 percent work on the construction of a bridge over the Indus River, linking two important cities of southern Punjab Layyah and Taunsa has been completed and the project is likely to be completed in a few months.

The project site is located between Layyah, east bank of the Indus River, and Taunsa, west bank of the river in district DG Khan, an official of the National Highway Authority (NHA) told APP here on Thursday.

“Work on Rs2,690 million worth project which had started in February 2018 includes two-lane approach roads besides other features,” the official said, and added, “The project was supposed to be completed by February 2020.”

He said that ECNEC had given approval of the project in October 2017 and in the ongoing fiscal year Rs1,000 million had been allocated for it.

“Due to the absence of a proper river-crossing between the two cities, the only two links available are D.I Khan-Darya Bridge, located 88 km upstream of the project site and Taunsa Barrage, located about 52km downstream,” the NHA official explained.

With no bridge linking Layyah and Taunsa, the residents of both the cities were facing immense difficulties as they had to travel 100km by road from Layyah to Taunsa or vice versa, he added.

He said a direct route through the bridge would help reduce the distance between the two cities by up to 50km — from 120km through Taunsa Barrage currently.

The NHA official said the flow of traffic from east to west would be facilitated by providing a link between the Indus Highway (North-South Corridor) and Pindi Bhattian- Multan Motorway (M-4).

The west bank of the Indus River, near Taunsa, would also be connected with the provincial road network on the east side of the Indus, he added.