PM’ vision, transparency through construction
AFTER coming into power, the present government focused on improving the performance of national institutions.
To further improve the efficiency and working regime of National Highway Authority with the objective of inculcating transparency and fairness in its affairs was a great challenge to the government.
However, keeping in view the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, National Highway Authority (NHA), undertook concrete steps and chalked out comprehensive plan to complete road infrastructure projects at a rapid pace throughout the country.
Revolutionary measures taken by NHA to translate vision of PM into reality will ever be remembered as a part of national history.
The first priority was to construct motorways and national highways on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis with the view to reduce the financial burden on national ex-chequer and to make roads construction and their maintenance procedures completely transparent.
At present times, it is noteworthy that in the past the value of dollar was low while now its value has increased. Cement, steel and building materials are cheap in the past.
While presently with increased value of dollar, the rates of construction materials have also been increased.
In such state of affairs, the extraordinary measures undertaken by present government have resulted in execution of national highways and motorways projects at much lower cost.
In the past, despite low dollar rate, 1 Km long, 2 lane Road was constructed at a cost of Rs. 118.171 million whereas presently 1 Km long, 2 lane Road is being constructed at a cost of Rs. 110.991 million despite increase in dollar rate.
In the past 4-lane national highway was completed at cost of Rs. 411.078 million per kilometre, while the PTI government is constructing 4-lane national highway at cost of Rs. 173.515 million per Km.
Again, previously, one km long road was used to be rehabilitated and maintained at cost of Rs. 80.111 million, while presently this cost has been reduced to Rs. 53.400 million.
In the past, 4 lane motorway on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis was built at Rs. 606.044 million per km. while presently, 4 lane motorway on Build Operate Transfer (BOT) is costing Rs. 395.652 million per km.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Imran Khan has commended efforts made by construction experts and engineers of NHA for building roads at low cost.
Due to transparency and effective process of self reliance, a considerable saving has been achieved by starting projects at low cost.
NHA is also earning revenue from Toll Plazas and exploitation of its Right of Way (ROW).
Resultantly, NHA is not getting loan from the government for construction and maintenance of roads. Now, the government is spending this money on public welfare schemes of health and education sectors including the Ehsaas Program.
It is worth mentioning that introduction of e-Bidding system is another remarkable step forward towards ensuring transparency in award of roads construction and maintenance projects, for which NHA deserves appreciation.
Credit goes to National Highway Authority (NHA) for recapturing its land from the land mafia.
Presently issues relating to land acquisition are being resolved in an efficient manner thereby ensuring timely completion of road projects.
The present government has played a vital role in recapturing land from land mafia.
It seems appropriate to recall that NHA is controlling 51 roads network across the country having total length of 13,572 Kms that includes 11,255 Km long 38-national highways, 2055 Km long 10- motorways and 262 long 3-strategic roads.
Following the vision of Imran Khan, NHA has successfully started construction of motorways and national highways under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, thus providing opportunity to private sector to come forward and 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.
During the last a few years, NHA remained successful in providing conducive atmosphere for private sector investment in road sector and to date has completed four projects of worth around Pak Rs 135 billion on Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis.
Construction of 2 km long new flyover (Habibabad bridge) located on N-5 is one of the projects completed on PPP mode at cost of Rs. 0.831 billion.
Likewise overlay and modernization of 357 km Lahore-Islamabad motorway has also been realized costing more than Rs. 46 billion. Further, conversion of 4-Lane highway into six lane Karachi-Hyderabad motorway was also taken on PPP mode.
This 136 km long motorway was completed at cost of Rs. 44.251 billion. Another milestone of NHA is the completion of 89 km long Lahore-Sialkot motorway. This 4 Lane motorway is built with 6 lane structures at cost of Rs. 43.847 billion.
This motorway has linked industrial city of Sialkot with motorways network of the country. On successful completion, all these projects are operational now.
The government’s vision is to build roads and expand road network to a great extent by 2030, so as to achieve goals of national and regional economic integration.
In order to achieve this objective, cooperation of the private sector is an important element.
NHA has also undertaken gigantic game changer CPEC and Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Programme (CAREC) under which country wide national highways and motorways projects are being started.
The transparent efforts being made by NHA in line with the vision of PM Imran Khan will have far-reaching positive impact on economic conditions of the whole region in general and that of Pakistan in particular.
This will ultimately be instrumental in making Pakistan a hub of regional trade in the true perspective.
—The writer is Public Relations Director, NHA.