Travelling from Multan to Dera Ghazi Khan along the N-70 is a mixed experience. Up until the Muzaffargarh bypass the journey is excellent as the road is new, with dual carriages, overhead bridges and bypasses, making it a smooth ride. However, from Muzaffargarh to DG Khan it is a 57km single track. Not only is this handling all the traffic to and from Balochistan into Punjab, it also links a substantial amount of traffic using the Indus Highway. This traffic includes wide bodied buses, transport trailers, oil tankers as well as cars jeeps wagons etc.

This single carriage highway was constructed three decades ago and is deteriorating daily due to increased traffic. Its carrying capacity is choked resulting in lengthy traffic jams. Periodic surface patch-ups of sections are insufficient and poor in quality. DG Khan also houses a nuclear processing facility which makes N-70 an arterial highway to DG Khan from Multan for civilian and defence purposes.

The growth of population and the consequential economic growth in the South of Punjab is exponential. It is high time that highway N-70 is brought up to the standards of comparative equivalence. Especially in light of CPEC, it stands out as an eyesore. The converting of N-70 into dual highways would fulfil historic political promises made in 1998 and 2011 by the PM and CM of Punjab for this specific project. It will also provide critical support to the economy of South Punjab as well as the Defence of Pakistan.

ENGR. SYED NAJAM UDDIN,

Multan, November 14.