ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will perform the ground breaking of the third section of the Shorkot-Khanewal Motorway (M-4) on Saturday.

Chairman of the National Highway Authority (NHA), Shahid Ashraf Tarar said on Friday that with the completion of this 3rd section, the much trumpeted Faisalabad-Multan motorway project will be accomplished. As a result, this most important highway will become a part of the motorway network of the country. This will also link the business and travel traffic from Central Asia and Afghanistan via Torkham border with the Gawadar port. This grand development project will not only provide the public with modern and swift travelling facilities but also speed up national and international trade.

Chairman NHA Shahid Ashraf said that the Shorkot-Khanewal section will be completed in two phases. The first phase will be comprises 31 kilometers from Shorkot to Deenpur and the second phase from Deenpur to Khanewal will be 34 kilometer long. The cost of the project is estimated at Rs. 22 billion. He said that the project will be completed in two years and upon completion, this project will open up a new era of economic development in the country besides boosting regional, social and economic activities. This will also help promote local industry.

Two sections of the Faisalabad-Multan Motorway (M-4) have already been completed in which the Faisalabad-Gojra motorway is 58 kms long whereas Khanewal-Multan motorway is 57 kms long. Development work on 62-km-long section of Gojra-Shorkot motorway was in full swing. It is expected that in the next two years the Faisalabad-Multan Motorway network will be completed. The overall 240-km long project will cut down travel time between Faisalabad and Multan to less than two hours. In future, this project will become a part of the Sukkur-Multan Motorway.

The Faisalabad-Multan Motorway (M-4) is considered to be the backbone for the development of the northern and southern districts of the country. Upon completion, this project will bring about an era of industrial, commercial and economic boom in the country because Faisalabad, famous for its industrial growth, is known as the Manchester of Pakistan. The industrial product of this city will gain popularity in Gawadar and Central Asian states, which will, in turn, promote national trade.