ISLAMABAD - The federal government has allocated Rs.118.67b for 32 ongoing and 17 new schemes of the National Highway Authority in federal PSDP-2020-21.

The total allocation for the communications division in Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) remained at Rs.118.929b that includes Rs.118.67b for the projects of NHA.

The road infrastructure sector has once again seemed out of government priority as out of total Rs.118.67b only Rs.29.7b have been allocated for 17 new schemes of NHA.

The considerable allocation of Rs.10 billion has been made by the federal government for Zhob to Kuchlak Road of the western corridor of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a new scheme.

The allocation other major new scheme includes Rs.1.5b for widening and improvement of Lodhran Multan Section of N-5, Rs.1.5b for 23km long Quetta Western Bypass, Rs.1b for the deposit work of Nokundi- Mashkhel Road of CPEC, Rs.1.5b for Khyber Pass Economic Corridor Project, Rs.4b for 148km long Hoshab-Awaran Section of M-8, Rs.1b for the construction of Dera Murad Jamali Bypass and limited allocations for few other projects.

Road infrastructure projects once again remained unsuccessful to get optimum allocations

Under ongoing schemes the allocations for only 32 projects have been made that includes Rs.2.5b for construction of KKH Phase-II Havelian-Thakot as part of CPEC, Rs.20b Motorway from Burhan - Hakla on M-I to Dera Ismail Khan, Rs.4b for dualization and improvement of old Bannu road, Rs.4.5b for dualization & Improvement of Pindigheb- Kohat Road, Rs.5b for dualization of Indus Highway (N-55) Sarai Gambila to Kohat Section, Rs.9b for Jaglot - Skardu Road, Rs.7b for Lahore-Multan Motorway, Rs.2b for Lowari Road Tunnel and access roads project, Rs.2.5b for Sukkur-Multan Section of Peshawar to Karachi Motorway and few others.

Like previous year, the road infrastructure projects once again remained unsuccessful to get optimum allocations in PSDP.

The budgetary allocation of Rs.155.96b for NHA in the year 2019-20 was almost fifty percent low as compared to the previous allocations of Rs.301.6 billion made by the PML-N government in its last year, which was also slashed up to Rs.185.197b by the incumbent government after its formation in the revised PSDP 2018-19. 

A senior officer of NHA who remained attached with the whole process of PSDP allocations on the condition of anonymity commented that the allocation made would cause further delays in the ongoing projects of road authority.

“If the government wants to complete the ongoing project on time then there is a need of Rs.300b annually for next three years”, he maintained, adding: “Some important new schemes are also neglected by the government this year including Yarik-Zhob Road, extension of Lahore-Sialkot Motorway towards Rawalpindi and Sukkur-Haydrabad missing link of Peshawar to Karachi Motorway.”