ISLAMABAD: The government has provided an amount of Rs2.3 billion to the National Highway Authority (NHA) to enable it to continue working on necessary projects.

The funds will give the NHA only a temporary respite from the severe financial constraints it is facing, however.

In the long run, it will need much more to clear its debts and complete other projects.

According to NHA officials, the authority has to pay Rs26 billion in liabilities to contractors and lenders.

Of the total liabilities, the NHA owes Rs14 billion to contractors for work done and the remainder are arrears from internal loans from banks and international financial institutions. NHA Chairman Syed Mohammad Ali Gardezi told an executive board meeting on Tuesday that more funds were required to continue construction work on NHA schemes.

He said that shortage of funds had badly affected the pace of the work. The meeting gave approval for rehabilitation work of 28km portion of Nowshera-Peshawar section of N-5 that was submerged during the last year’s flood.

Its revised contract cost of more than Rs1.13billion was also approved. The meeting discussed the 57-km Khanewal Multan Motorway (M-4 extension).

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) has approved its PC-1 amounting to Rs14.5 billion.

The board members reviewed the mega project of Shahdara Flyover.

The six lane elevated expressway will be 5.75km long and will cost Rs9.654 billion.

The meeting discussed setting up of Highway Research and Training Centre (HRTC), construction of Sandhilianwali Bridge on the Ravi River and Wazirabad-Khanqah Dogran Expressway.