Islamabad-The National Assembly Standing Committee on Communications was informed that three new projects of National Highways Authority (NHA) have been included in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, out of which two will be constructed in Balochistan and the third will be constructed in the area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The committee was told that M-9 from Karachi to Hyderabad will be formally opened for public on 14th of August, 2017. Whereas construction of Motorway from Hyderabad to Sukkar is also going to start, as the contract has been awarded and the process of land acquisition is in the progress.  On the other hand, work on Multan-Sukkar Section of Motorway is already in progress. The committee was informed that NHA has also started to concentrate on dualisation of Indus Highway. The meeting was held at the Parliament House, Islamabad. The members of the standing committee said that national highways play vital role in the development of a country.

The meeting was informed that Indus Highway is shorter road link between Peshawar and Karachi. In this connection from Northern Bypass, Peshawar to Dara Adam Khail, 35km road is going to be dual and constructed with the help of Asian Development Bank. Similarly, the road from Kohat to Saraye Gambila will also be made dual as the Prime Minister has given its approval.

The committee was informed that Motorway and Grand Trunk Road are on the left side of Indus River, so, strategically there was a need to have a road on the right bank of Indus river. Holding that National Highways are essential for national connectivity, the NHA officials told the meeting that Rs1200 billion are being spent on the road infrastructure in the country. The committee recommended that the land grabbers on the service road of Layari Expressway should be dealt with an iron hand. The NHA officials informed the committee that Takht Bai Bridge has been completed, whereas, the road from Chakdara to Bahrain via Khawazakhela and Mangora has been divided into four projects and the work is going to start on all the four projects, with the help of Asian Development Bank and Saudi Arabia. The committee directed that the beautification of Takht Bai Bridge may be carried out because the beautification aspect of the bridge could not be achieved during the civil work.

The standing committee observed that the payments against encroachments on service road of Layari Expressway were made to the affectees and the encroachments were removed but the land mafia has again encroached upon the land. The committee directed NHA, FWO and the Karachi administration to get the said land clear forthwith.

The committee was informed that Layari Expressway will be completed by September 2017.