ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $140-million loan to improve the provincial road network and enhance road safety and maintenance in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
The board of directors of the Manila-based lending agency approved the loan for the provincial Roads Improvement Project which has a total cost of $164 million. The remaining amount will be contributed by the provincial government.
Eight roads having total length of 214 kilometres will be rehabilitated under the project. Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
Pakistan borrows another $500m from China
The ADB has not disclosed terms of the loan. The Roads Improvement Project will lead to rehabilitation of eight road sections in K-P to meet provincial highway standards. It will also help improve road safety and provide climate resilience features to withstand potential damage from floods and other natural disasters, according to a statement issued by the ADB’s local office.
The project initially covered 11 roads with an estimated length of 305 km, but after preparing the design the length was reduced to 293.6 km. Three roads with total length of 85.5 km were later excluded from the list for economic and financial reasons.
The roads that will be improved include the Shah Alam-Sardaryab section covering 11.77 km, Khair Abad-Kahi (Nizampur) section of 23.14 km, Umerzai-Harichand-Shergarh section of 29 km, Risalpur to Jehangira via Pir Sabaq-Misri Banda with link to Akora Khattak and Mardan Ring Road via Motorway Wali Interchange covering 37 km, Jhandai-Sang-e-Marmar section (Mardan) of 33.4 km, Adina-Yar Hussain-Lahore Road covering 24.37 km, Haripur-Hattar-Taxila section of 22 km and Maqsood-Kohala section of 33.5 km.
“Roads play a crucial role not only in Pakistan’s economy and development, but also in people’s productivity and daily lives, with land transport the main mode of mobility in the country,” said Jiangbo Ning, Principal Transport Specialist at the ADB’s Central and West Asia Department.
The bank’s support for this project will help the government develop the provincial road network and improve economic conditions, productivity and connectivity in the province.
Road transport dominates Pakistan’s transport system as almost 96% of freight traffic and 92% of passenger traffic pass through this network.
Provincial roads, like those in K-P, connect district centres with the national highway and are vital for facilitating trade as well as providing access to health, education and other public services.
The project will also cover two pilot performance-based maintenance contracts for about 104 km of provincial roads to help in the maintenance and operation of road assets.
Govt puts ADB’s $990-million smart-meters project on hold
These types of contracts change the role of contractor from being a project executor to road asset manager. They will also help strengthen capacity of relevant government agencies including the Pakhtunkhwa Highways Authority.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2017.
Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ