ISLAMABAD: National Highway Authority (NHA) has planned to dualise the Karakoram Highway. In first phase, 109 km Burhan-Havelliaan-Mansaehra Express way has been planned at a cost of Rs 25 billion—which will be funded by ADB, NHA member Sabir Hassan said while speaking to the participants of 9th Senior Management Course during their visit NHA headquarter.
Discussing the Attaabad Lake, Sabir Hassan said it has become a permanent feature and the 18 km of submerged road will have to be relocated—“and the design of the new alignment is in process of being finalised.”
NHA is working on 141 projects in the country comprising 8900 km of roads costing Rs 774 billion—while NHA is also working on 58 projects of 4259 km roads in the provinces.
He said Chinese firms are working on Karakoram Highway for its rehabilitation from Raikot Bridge to Khunjrab Pass, he added.
Recalling the previous year’s severe spell of rains and floods, he said it badly damaged the road network—but the efforts of NHA engineers and workers restored it. Heavy rains and subsequent floods caused damage of Rs 18.77 billion to NHA network. All the roads have been temporarily opened for traffic, but Rs 22.4 billion will be required for its complete rehabilitation and restoration.
Sabir Hassan told that Pakistan’s ideal strategic location possesses great significant with regard to facilitating the transit trade activity in this region—and NHA is fully aware to develop its network as per future needs. Total length of NHA network is 11900 km, which is the only 4% of entire network, but 80% of commercial traffic and passenger’s transportation is attached with it.
He further said NHA has undertaken big plans like North-South expressway/ Motorway system, development of linkages between National Trade Corridor (NTC) and Gwadar Port and up gradation of Karakoram Highway to enable Pakistan to play a central role in regional transit trade activity. He added that plan of National Trade Corridor links all the major arteries of Pakistan with the ports of Karachi and Gwadar. He informed the guests that the NTC would reduce 50% travelling time, 10% transportation expenditure and 70% of fatalities in accidents.
He said NHA is employing the latest construction technology for building and repair of roads and bridges throughout the country.
Sabir Hassan told that keeping in view the NHA’s good performance, and trust in its capabilities, 47 provincial projects of 4315 km roads and 21 bridge projects have been entrusted to NHA through federalisation.
In order to protect the roads asset 45x weigh stations are working to control overloading while 57x weight stations more are also planned. Toll Collection system is being improved and at present 84x Toll Plaza are operational. Besides grants of government of Pakistan, NHA projects are implemented with the cooperation of International Monetary bodies.