Sibtain Raza Lodhi
MINISTRY of Communications attached department National Highway Authority is actively engaged in construction extension, operation and maintenance of motorways and National Highways with the view to put country on the track towards development construction of roads undoubtedly cost heavy amounts and their proper maintenance further demands more financial resources.
During the last three years the present Government has planned a number of roads building and maintenance projects.
In order to reduce financial load to this effect, the NHA is working for building roads on Public Private Partnership basis.
Besides, NHA is chalking out comprehensive plan to increase its revenue through utilization of Right of Way (ROW).
Geographic Information System (GIS) it’s a step forward to this effect that will enable NHA to meet its financial requirements through its own resources.
The responsibility for countrywide planning, construction, operation and maintenance of motorways, national highways, strategic roads, bridges and tunnels is assigned to National Highway Authority (NHA), Ministry of Communications. Presently total length of road network of the country is about 264,000 Kms.
While total length of 51 Motorways and National Highways under jurisdiction of NHA is 13,572 Kms which include 11,255 kms-38 National Highways, 2055 kms-10 Motorways, and 262 kms-3 Strategic Roads.
As per vision of the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Imran Khan, Ministry of Communications, National Highway Authority has successfully started work for construction of motorways and national highways under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, thus providing opportunity to Private Sector to invest in road building schemes of the Public Sector.
The Federal Government has formulated a comprehensive policy to undertake projects on the PPP mode.
To this effect, an Act has also been approved for effective implementation of such projects. Establishment of Public Private Partnership Authority also expresses Government’s interest to this approach.
A Public Private Partnership Cell is also actively functional at NHA head office. The Cell has made practical advancement for Private Sector participation in National Highways, Motorway, Tunnels and bridges projects in the country.
NHA considers that the technical, managerial and financial resources of the Private Sector can make a useful addition to its own efforts.
After carefully evaluating a wide range of alternatives, NHA has decided to encourage the private sector to participate in a number of significant projects of national highways and motorway as well as a limited number of tunnel and bridge projects with the view to support and sustain Pakistan’s rapid rate of economic growth.
This initiative will not only prepare the ground to promote construction industry but will help at large to reduce financial load on national ex-chequer.
In the matter, Federal Minister for Communications and Postal Services Mr. Murad Saeed has emphasized upon the executive officers, construction experts and engineers to play operative role to further accelerate the construction process for early realization of projects under Public Private Partnership mode, so that more roads could be built without financial support from national exchequer.