SIALKOT-The National Highway Authority (NHA) has prepared a feasibility report for establishing 49km long motorway between Sambrial, Sialkot district and Kharian, Gujrat District.

According to the NHA senior officials, the federal government would spend Rs22.26 billion on the project which would be considered the part of the grand project of Sialkot-Lahore Motorway.

This portion of motorway, between Sambrial and Kharian, would be a six-lane road. It would pass through the under construction Shehbazpur bridge over River Chenab (at the junction of both neighbouring Sialkot and Gujrat districts) and would be connected to Kharian via Jalalpur Jattan. The road, after its completion, would reduce travelling distance between Bhimber, Mirpur, Bagh and Kotli areas of Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) and Lahore via Sialkot and Gujrat as well.

The NHA officials said that the NHA feasibility report was expected to be given final approval by the federal government during an important meeting of the NHA and federal government's technical team scheduled to be held in Islamabad on December 13. The officials revealed that the project would be completed in a stipulated period of one year (till the end of December 2018).

On the other hand, the construction work of 91km long Sialkot-Lahore Motorway is briskly underway on four sections near Sialkot, Sahowala-Sambrial and Daska under the joint supervision of National Highway Authority (NHA) and Frontier Works Organization (FWO). Sialkot Deputy Commissioner Dr Farrukh Naveed told media that the government is spending Rs43.85 billion on the mega Sialkot-Lahore Motorway project. He added that the process of land acquisition for the project has already been completed, adding that the land owners have been paid Rs5.94 billion by the government. The DC informed that it would be a four-lane road with eight interchanges which would reduce travel distance between Sialkot and Lahore.

Provincial Minister for Local Bodies Mansha Ullah Butt also visited the site and reviewed the pace of construction work at different places of the project. He pointed out that this motorway would open new vistas of socio-economic and human development in Sialkot region. The senior officials of the NHA and the FWO told the provincial minister that the mega project of Sialkot-Lahore Motorway would be completed in a stipulated period of one year.

The officials revealed that 20 percent earth levelling work and 10 percent infrastructure work of Sialkot-Lahore Motorway project has been completed under the joint supervision of the NHA and FWO. They said that services of the Directorate of Design and Consultancy Risalpur have been hired to ensure quality in construction of the project.