ISLAMABAD, Jan 22: The cost of Makran Coastal Highway (N-10) has increased to Rs21.4 billion from its earlier estimated cost of Rs15 billion.

The phenomenal rise in the cost can be attributed to torrential rains of 2003, 2005 and 2010 which badly damaged Lyari-Ormara and Ormara-Pasni sections of the highway.

The damage caused to Lyari-Ormara section is estimated at Rs374.04 million and to the Ormara-Pasni section at Rs392.66 million.

The executive board of the National Highway Authority which met on Saturday expressed concern over escalation in the cost of the project. NHA acting chairman Mohammad Junaid presided over the meeting.

The board discussed the revised PC-1 of the Makran Coastal Highway. The unprecedented rain also resulted in new hydraulic statistics as it was the worst recorded rainfall in 100 years. The revised hydraulic studies were carried out by the NHA which called for a change in the design of the 650km highway.

Work on the project formally started in 2002. So far 605km of the road has been completed, an NHA official said, adding that work on the remaining 45km portion from Gwadar to Gabd was in progress.

The meeting was informed that previously there were only 78 bridges on the Makran Coastal Highway which had been increased to 89. Similarly, the number of culverts was increased to 1,816 from 1063. The board decided to further examine the PC-1.

The executive board also discussed the PC-1 of 689-metre Khyali Flyover in Gujranwala. It was told that the PC-1 cost of the project was Rs996.9 million and it would be completed in 24 months from the date construction work started. The board approved the proposal and said that efforts should be made to further rationalise the cost.

Source: Dawn