National Highway Authority (NHA) has been focusing on Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) projects to involve private sector in highway building projects as the present government wants to upgrade road infrastructure in the next five to seven years.
The government wants to double the road density till 2025 and this mammoth development goal can only be achieved with the support of private sector, an official of National Highway Authority ( NHA) told on Saturday. He said that public private partnership is becoming an essential component of NHA development strategy. The objectives set by NHA, he said, include development, off-budget financing, efficiency, Investment, sustainability and revenues generation.
Re-carpeting and renovation work of Islamabad-Lahore Motorway (M2) completed recently is one of the big achievements of NHA on BOT basis, he added.
The total cost of the project was Rs30.935 billion, which includes renovation of toll plazas, weigh stations workshops, as well and the total re-carpeted and renovated length is 714kms.
Renovation and overlay work on the M-2 had started in January 2015 by MORE (FWO), the build operate transfer (BOT) concessionaire of the project. M-2 was handed over to FWO on December 15, 2014 for operation and maintenance for the next 20 years.
He said another major under-construction BOT project of NHA was 136 km Karachi- Hyderabad Motorway (M-9) which connects Karachi to Hyderabad and would cost about Rs. 24 Billion. The project work started on March 16,2015 and will be completed by December 2017. Its 80 km portion would be opened for traffic within a week time.
Among the upcoming BOT projects, he said construction work of 296 km Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway is likely to start soon. The project would be executed on BOT basis and its estimated cost is over Rs 160 billion.
The motorway project starting from Sukkur will touch Khairpur, Nowshehro Feroze,Nawab Shah, Mitiari, Hala and Jamshoro and terminate at Hyderabad.
About 90-kilometre Sialkot-Lahore Motorway would cost Rs 56 billion and will be built on BOT basis and it would be completed in three years. The proposed motorway project would help link remote areas with big cities and reduce the distance between Sialkot and Lahore.
Starting from Sahowala-Sambrial,the motorway will end at Kala Shah Kaku via Daska, Gujranwala and Kamonki. Moreover the NHA plans to undertake the up gradation and dualization of Multan-Muzaffargarh-D.G. Khan Section of Multan-Qilla Saifullah Highway (N-70) on BOT basis.
The NHA invited bids for undertaking upgradation and dualization of the section and a Concession Agreement has been finalized, the official informed. The Concession Agreement has been signed, and the construction work shall be commenced after achievement of Financial Close by the Concessionaire. He said that the project construction period will be 24 months from achievement of financial close.—APP