ISLAMABAD - JAVAID-UR-RAHMAN   - Since the government is making efforts to complete Sindh development projects on priority basis, the rest of the extraordinarily delayed schemes mainly from Balochistan are being neglected due to certain reasons.

Even around two months before the start of election campaign, the development work has started with pace on the ‘direction’ from certain quarters in Sindh, sources in Communication Ministry told TheNation on Friday.

After the tussle between Chairman NHA Javed Awan and Minister for Communication Dr Arbab Alamgir that resulted to the one-month leave of the former from his office, Acting Chairman Hamid Ali Khan in his first meeting also stressed for the Sindh projects completion.

The Acting Chairman also said that work on the ongoing national highway schemes in Sindh be geared up for their timely completion.

To this effect, no laxity and carelessness will be tolerated.

He was speaking during his inspection tour to the under-construction projects in Sindh province. NHA’s General Manager Sindh Nazeer Ahmad Bhayo and other senior officers accompanied him.

Hamid Ali Khan said, a major Chunk of industrial activities are associated to Karachi Port and Port Qasim, and keeping in view their significance, NHA is realizing highway building schemes on priority in Sindh. National Highway network performs key role in socio-economic uplift of the country.

He said that NHA is striving for earlier completion of remaining work of Lyari Expressway in Karachi and that President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari performed ground breaking last month to complete the balance work. This project is being completed at final cost of Rs 11.87 billion and till now 74 percent project works have been completed.  

He directed for accelerating the pace of work on under construction Gharo-Keti Bandar Road (84Km) and Hyderabad-Badin-Meerwah-Sanjar Chang Projects. He further said, 136 Km long Karachi-Hyderabad Super Highway is an important link to connect Karachi Port and Port Qasim with rest of the country. About 21000 vehicles ply on it every day. The present government has planned to upgrade this super highway into motorway. This project will be completed on BOT basis at an estimated cost of Rs. 20 billion, he added.      

On the other hand, sources in Communication Ministry NHA only voiced mantra of funds scarcity for the long delay in development projects of Balochistan and other areas but on-going projects in Sindh are getting smooth funding.

The pace of work on vital projects like Karakoram Highway (Attabad Lake), Hassanabdal-Mansehra Expressway, Lowari Tunnel, Faisalabad-Multan Motorway project was unsatisfactory due to lack of funding but the Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway (M-9) project was getting flat-out funding.

The situation in Balochistan is even miserable where 19 projects including M-8 (Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab Project) are substantially delayed. It was learnt that 75 percent work is left to be done on Sorab-Basima-Naag-Panjgur-Hoshab Project while several other projects were also not even half completed after elapsing of their stipulated time.

The projects which could not be completed after passing the stipulated time are: “(N-25) Widening of Kalat-Quetta-Chaman Road, Lakpass Tunnel (180M), Muslim Bagh-Qila Saifullah (50 Km), Ormara-Pasni section and some others. The proposed completion dates have already been revised for some of the projects.