BALKASAR - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Monday launched “Plan-D Development” by laying foundation-stone for the renovation of Islamabad-Lahore M-2 Motorway section.

“No one would be allowed to create any hurdle in the way of progress and development of Pakistan,” the prime minister said as he unveiled his plan of construction of roads, infrastructure and development works to end power loadshedding.

“The people of Pakistan have already rejected those who are trying to push the country to the edge,” he said, addressing a large gathering here at the Balkasar Interchange.

The prime minister said the letter “D” can mean both development and destruction, but he believed in development unlike those who are bent upon destruction.

The prime minister said hurdles against his government were nothing new and those who were holding protests and demonstrations against him regularly travelled on the same road they criticised.

He said hue and cry was raised when work on Lahore-Islamabad Motorway was initiated. However, the whole project was completed with honesty, transparently and devotion. Despite the efforts of opponents, no one could find even a shred of evidence against the project.

He said when his party candidates go back to the polls in 2018, they will proudly carry with them fulfilled promises of end to loadshedding, lowering of exchange rate, completion of mega development projects, lower inflation and end of extremism and terrorism.

He said on the contrary his opponents would carry how they closed cities, held protests, arson and looting, created obstacles in path of progress and development of Pakistan, attack on the Parliament, damage to democracy and nothing constructive. “They are damaging entire Pakistan as they damaged one province,” he said.

The prime minister said he was pleased to be there on the renovation and improvement of the six-lane Lahore-Islamabad Motorway section and said the road was a wonder when it was constructed around 16 years back. He said modernisation of the M-2 Motorway would be jointly undertaken by the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and National Highway Authority (NHA) within a stipulated time of three years.

The prime minister said though the FWO chief has assured him of completing the road in the shortest period of time, FWO Director General Maj-Gen Muhammad Afzal would be able to complete it in one and a half years.

He said the government was not seeking any loans from abroad for the construction of the road. On the contrary, the Frontier Works Organisation would pay an amount of Rs 206 billion to the government of Pakistan over the agreement period, besides looking after the road. He said the very first day the project kicks off, Rs 9.5 billion would be paid to the government.

The prime minister said the proposal by FWO for setting up industrial zones would be undertaken on priority by the government and a feasibility report would be prepared in due course of time.

He appreciated the FWO director general for undertaking the project and several other development works throughout the country. He lauded FWO for constructing roads in parts of Balochistan where no private organisation was willing to work.

He said the project would help bring in the latest construction machinery and equipment for upgrading the road. He hoped the modern technology being inducted by the FWO would be used for undertaking similar works across the country.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the government had lowered the price of electricity tariff by Rs 2.32 per unit and said it would have a positive effect. He hoped reduction in power tariff would help industries flourish, boost agriculture productivity and would be beneficial for the common man.

Sharif said the price of electricity tariff would further decline in the days ahead after the construction of Bhasha, Dasu and Bunji dams as well as completion of Chashma-IV, Neelum-Jhelum and other projects.

He said with lower price of electricity, prices of fertilizers and other industrial products would also decline and boost economic activity at all levels.

He said the next project to be undertaken would be the motorways from Karachi to Lahore, Peshawar to Kabul and Kashgar to Gwadar.

The prime minister said the previous government ignored its duty of renovating the road after 10 years of use, adding his government was undertaking the gigantic task.

He said the motorway at that time had cost around Rs 30 billion, which was now five times more. He said the motorway had now become an earning venture besides saving time and cost of the commuters.

He said he can foresee a modern Pakistan in not too distant future where modern road network would be connecting agricultural farms to markets and to cities and eventually to the airports and seaports.

Sharif said improvement on KKH (Korakaram Highway) would also usher in a new era of development and would be linked with Islamabad through tunnels from under Margalla hills.

He said his government was also working on a plan to provide natural gas to all cities and towns of Balochistan in next two years so as to end sense of deprivation in the province.

FWO Director General Maj-Gen Muhammad Afzal, in his briefing, said renovation of the project would be done in accordance with international standards and completed well ahead of the three-year deadline.

He said the reconstruction would be carried out without disturbing the flow of traffic. He said the road would be modernised in accordance with latest international standards. Giving the details, he said CCTV cameras would be installed at every kilometer to provide live coverage and ensure safety and security of the road users.

M2 has been entrusted to Frontier Works Organisation for its overlay and modernisation for the next 20 years on build-operate-transfer basis.

According to the contract, the repair work will include improved road safety features, rescue and recovery, distress management, toll plazas and rest area facilities.

NNI adds: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday, rejecting the politics of hooliganism by the activists of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said dialogue and sit-in cannot go side by side.

“If PTI abstains from violence, dialogue can make advancement,” the prime minister said in a brief chat with reporters after the formal launch of renovation of Lahore-Islamabad Motorway.

The prime minister criticised PTI’s politics of protest and questioned what kind of culture the protesters were exhibiting and teaching the new generation.

He said aim of the protesters was to create hurdles in the progress and prosperity of the country. “We have set our goals to achieve the targets of national prosperity,” he said.