Islamabad - The National Highway Authority (NHA) is taking all possible measures to ensure timely completion of the western route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

This was said by the Chairman NHA Shahid Ashraf Tarar while presiding over the Executive Board Meeting held here yesterday. The chairman informed the meeting that work on 288-km section of the western corridor from Burhan to Dera Ismail Khan would start soon. He said the project was divided into five smaller sections so that work could be completed according to the given time frame. The meeting approved PC-1 for acquiring the land required for the project which will cost around Rs 13 billion. 

The chairman said that work on certain projects of CPEC was already completed and was in progress on several other sections. He said that 335-km section of Karakoram Highway (KKH) from Khunjrab to Rai Kot was successfully completed whereas the Hazara Motorway (Burhan-Havelian) would be completed by early next year. Thakot-Havelian section (120-km) will get underway very soon, he added. The chairman said that NHA had taken steps taken to encourage the private sector and the concept of BOT (Built-Operate-Transfer) in order to reduce load on the national exchequer and three major projects worth Rs. 91 billion were awarded on BOT basis which included Karachi-Hyderabad motorway (M-9), Habibabad Flyover and upgradation of Islamabad-Lahore motorway (M-2). He said NHA saved over Rs. 200 billions in various projects by introducing a transparent and vigilant award of works procedure.

Dr Shujat Ali, Additional Secretary (Budget), Finance Division, Muhammad Saleem Bhatti, IG, NH&MP, Malik Ahmed Khan, Member (Infrastructure), P&D Division, Nazir Ahmad, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Communications, Amna Imran Khan, Chief NTRC, Azhar Masood, NESPAK, Raja Nowsherwan, Member (Planning) NHA, Shoaib Ahmad Khan, Member (Finance) NHA and Ali Akbar Memon, Secretary NHA, attended the meeting.