ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani directed National Highway Authority to focus on completion of projects, which have already been completed to the extent of 70 per cent instead of initiating new projects. He also directed to maintain equitable distribution of development funds among the provinces.
Prime Minister passed these orders while taking briefing from the Secretary Communication and Chairman, NHA on the mega projects completed in Punjab, Sindh, KPK, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan/AJK which have immense importance from the connectivity point of view and generating economic activities in the country besides bringing people of far flung areas closer to people living in other parts of the country.
Prime Minister was apprised that twelve projects with the cost of Rs 19.6 billion have been completed so far. Some of the projects completed are Head Muhammadwala Bridge, Chach Interchange on Motorway, and Double Phattak Flyover Multan.
In the meeting, the priorities of the NHA projects were re-emphasised in case of Sukkur-Shikarpur-Jacobabad Road, Khuzadar-Ratodero Road, Amri-Qazi Ahmad Bridge, Layari Expressway Karachi, Zhob-Moghulkot and Lower Topa-Kohala-Muzaffarabad Expressway.
The NHA Chairman said that work on Khanewal-Multan section and Gojra-Faisalabad section of Motorway has already been started and for Gojra-Shorkot section land acquisition has been completed. He also underscored the importance of Benazir Shaheed Bridge (Nishtar Ghat) which would connect three provinces Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab.
Chairman NHA thanked Prime Minister for special allocation to resume the work at Lowari Tunnel which would start soon after the improvement of weather in the region.
The completion of Larkana-Khairpur Bridge had significantly reduced distance besides smooth flow of all type of traffic, the Chairman said. The Chairman added that Sehwan-Ratodero, JICA funded project, was very important and the major problem of land acquisition has been resolved.
The Chairman while briefing on NHA projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said that Thakot Bridge, Takhtbai-Dargai-Chakdara, Nowshera-Chakdara-Dir-Chitral, CRBC crossing Sara-e-Gamila, DI Khan-Zem Tomer are completed, while other projects like DI Khan-Sara-e-Gamila, Earthquake damaged roads, Jhalkhad-Babusar Top Chilas, Alipur-Besham, Peshawar Northern Bypass and Khushhaalgarh Bridge are at various stages of completion.
About Balochistan, the Chairman said that Nuttal-Sibi-Dhaddar, Khamozai-Muslim Bagh, Jacobabad and Dera Allayar, Lyari-Gwadar-Gabd, Kararo-Wad and Hub-Uthal completed while other important projects like Khuzdar-Ratodero, Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab-Basima-Surab were being executed.
In Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the Chairman said that Muzaffarabad-Chakothi is 88pc completed, Railkot-Khunjrab 70pc completed, West Bank Bypass, Muzaffarabad including Naluchi Bridge 36pc completed and 5 bridges in Gilgit-Baltistan and Skardu are at the initiated stages of construction.
The meeting was attended by Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Minister for Finance, Dr Nadeem-ul-Haq, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Dr Waqar Masood Khan, Secretary Economic Affairs, Abdul Wajid Rana, Secretary Finance, Khawaja Siddique Akbar, Secretary Interior, Anwar Ahmad Khan, Secretary Communication, Asif Bajwa, Secretary Planning and Development Division, Syed Muhammad Alil Gardezi, Chairman NHA and other senior government officials.