NHA firm to extend safe road network

Islamabad—National Highway Authority (NHA) is committed to provide extended safe road network as per the vision of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as the economic growth process cannot sustain without making efforts not only to expand the present road facilities but also to modernize this network to keep up with growing needs of the transport.
According to an NHA official, the country’s present leadership has made development of an integrated road network one of its top priorities and game-changer projects like China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Peshawar-Karachi Motorway are parts of the same effort. The NHA, he said, had been developing infrastructure projects through private sector on the Build-Own-Operate (BOO) and Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis.
For the first time in Pakistan’s history, three BOT projects costing Rs 91 billion had been rewarded which would generate Rs 366 billion over the concession period. He said CPEC was the name of building roads from Khunjerab to Gwadar. A number of sections of this mega project, he said, had been completed and remaining sections were under construction.
The official said the 784 Km segment from Khunjerab to Burhan consisted of Karakoram Highway (KKH), out of which 335 Km from Khunjerab to Raikot had already been upgraded. Remaining from Raikot to Islamabad iwa divided into three sub-sections i.e. Raikot-Thakot, Thakot- Havelian and Havelian-Islamabad.
Construction work on 120 Km Thakot-Havelian section of Hazara Motorway had started after its ground breaking on Thursday, he added. He said 59 Km Burhan-Havelian of Hazara Motorway was being built and would be completed by end 2017 at the cost of Rs 34 billion. Such projects act as guarantors of economic and social well-being while boosting employment, reducing cost of accessing markets, providing means of improved opportunities and ensuring the provision of basic services at the grassroots level, he said.—APP

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