ECNEC approves construction of 387 km leg of Karachi-Lahore motorway

Published: July 3, 2014
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The 387 kilometer long Sukkur-Multan project will be completed at a cost of Rs259.4 billion. 90% of the project cost will be funded by China. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ FILE

The 387 kilometer long Sukkur-Multan project will be completed at a cost of Rs259.4 billion. 90% of the project cost will be funded by China. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of National Economic Council on Thursday approved a dozen development schemes worth Rs428 billion including projects related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and raising of Balochistan Constibulary.

Under the chair of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, the ECNEC also approved the construction of Karachi-Multan-Lahore Motorway (KLM) Project’s Sukkur-Multan leg. The approval came just days before a Pakistani delegation is set to leave for China to discuss financing issues of infrastructure and energy sector projects that will be completed under the economic corridor project.

The 387 kilometer long Sukkur-Multan project will be completed at a cost of Rs259.4 billion. 90% of the project cost will be funded by China, according to a handout issued by Ministry of Finance after the ECNEC meeting. The remaining cost of the project will come from PSDP.

The project is expected to be completed by October 2017 and will be executed by National Highway Authority. The project envisages construction of 387 km long, six lanes, Sukkur-Multan section and is part of 1,148 km Karachi-Lahore Motorway.

The body also approved land acquisition, affected properties compensation and relocation of utilities for construction of the Motorway. This will cost Rs51 billion.

With the approval of the land acquisition and construction of a section of the Karachi-Lahore motorway, the issue of Pak-China corridor route has been settled. In order to address security concerns on the old western route through Balochistan, the government has opted for the new Eastern route despite protestations from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Balochistan parliamentarians.

The old route was along the western lines of the country but passes through some restive areas. Pakistan and China have agreed to construct the economic corridor that will give access to western parts of China to Gwadar port for international trade and secure energy supplies for the future.

Balochistan projects

The ECNEC approved a project for raising the Balochistan Constabulary at a cost of Rs5.2 billion. The project is aimed at assisting police and district administration in maintaining law and order in the crisis hit province.

The project will see a 10,000 strong Balochistan Constabulary for which 6,000 personnel will be recruited. 4,000 reserve police personnel will be merged into this force to raise it to 10,000 members.

The constabulary will also be responsible for ensuring security along the economic corridor.

Gwadar free trade zone 

The body also approved acquisition of land for establishment of Free Trade Zone in Gwadar at a cost of Rs6.5 billion.

The project aims to acquire 2,281 acres of land for establishing a free trade zone at Gwadar Port. 1,627 acres of the required land would be acquired from private land owners.

The meeting also approved the widening and improvement of the 250 km long Kalat-Quetta-Chaman Road section of National Highway N-25 with a revised cost of Rs19.2billion.

Other projects

At a cost of Rs30.5 billion the ECNEC cleared the Hasanabdal (Burhan)-Havelian Expressway.

A project for flood emergency reconstruction of bunds and canals was approved at a cost of Rs26.9 billion. Almost Rs19.2 million of the funds would acquired from foreign loan.

The body also approved a project for evacuation of power from Wind Power Plants at Jhimpir and Gharo Wind Clusters located in district Thatta and Jamshoro in Sindh with a modified cost of Rs11.3 billion.

Rs4.9 billion, in principle, was also approved for Prime Minister’s programme for provision of laptops. The program aims at distributing 100,000 laptops amongst students studying in any public sector higher education institute across the country.

The ECNEC approved rehabilitation and up-gradation of Trimmu Barrage and Panjnad Headwork’s with a rationalised cost of Rs16.8 billion including Rs14.9 billion loan by Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The meeting also approved dualisation and improvement of 64 km long Mandra-Chakwal Raod project at a revised cost of Rs4.7 billion. The project was originally cleared by former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf but became controversial afterwards.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • H Chaudhry
    Jul 3, 2014 - 10:34PM

    A lot of development. These infrastructure projects serve as a economic stimulus. At least this government is doing something. Only if liar khan can wait for his turn but than who can blame him, his turn may never come.

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  • N.Sid
    Jul 3, 2014 - 11:42PM

    If motorways could lead to a developed and healthy nation, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore could have done this before their revolution regarding education and empowerment of people at local levels. These are just gimmicks as not more than 10 percent of population uses the motorway between Lahore and Islamabad-Peshawar. People still uses the old G.T road.
    It is education and only investing on education can the country will come out this quagmire. How many engineering universities have planned by the PMLN government in the next 5 years.
    China took the leap forward by giving higher education to about 300,000(3 lacs) people over a period of years, now there is no stopping them. We need to rise as a nation…just like when Pakistan was born. What a pity.

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  • sterry
    Jul 4, 2014 - 12:10AM

    @N.Sid: You can dispute the importance of infrastructure such as dams, motorways and energy projects to build a country but the fact remains that Nawaz Sharif is working hard to bring development to Pakistan. This scares the other parties who just want to take over and derail progress. The funding for these projects is coming largely from China – they are not stupid to want to invest in Pakistan when there is no return on their investment. It is not their job to invest in Pakistan’s health and education sectors. By having better infrastructure and conditions for economy, more jobs will be created and people will have money to improve all aspects of their lives.

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  • hamza
    Jul 4, 2014 - 12:27AM

    N.Sid
    You are right in the sense that we must emphasize on education but i do not agree about your stress on universities. İ think the stress needs to be on primary and secondary education. İ feel we are lacking in foundation. And regarding your claim on infrastructure layout being gimmick i think that is not totally correct either. So you want more technical resources and how do you intend to utilize that manpower?

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  • Faisal
    Jul 4, 2014 - 12:43AM

    “4,000 reserve police personnel will be merged into this force to raise it to 10,000 members.”
    So the plan is to pollute the new force even before it’s birth.

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  • Rayman
    Jul 4, 2014 - 12:56AM

    Have you any idea how many jobless engineers are there in our country ? Infrastructure development leads to economic stimulus which in turn creates demand for educated people.
    Without economic activity, increase in number of universities will burden the society with more unemployed misdirected youth.

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  • H Chaudhry
    Jul 4, 2014 - 1:01AM

    @N.Sid you are correct about education. Only point I will make in defense of large infrastructure projects is that they have tendency to pump start a stalled economy. Education being the most important aspect, still takes second place with common man when there is just about enough to feed yourself or educate. That is why I think some economic movement resulting in people with jobs is perfect catalyst to jump start an economy but than focus must be shifted towards a 10 year education emergency plan.

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  • hatim
    Jul 4, 2014 - 1:19AM

    More development for Punjab.

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  • S. Nasir Mehdi
    Jul 4, 2014 - 1:45AM

    Mr. PM, please drop lap tops, express ways. Spend your time and money on railways and circular railway in Karachi. Mr. Qaim Ali Shah will remain qaeem if he starts work on circular rail.Recommend

  • Waseem
    Jul 4, 2014 - 1:48AM

    @N.Sid:
    N sia u said very well. India become the sixth largest car producer due to it has 1200 engineering colleges and universities and they are also producing work force for world. One Indian state Karnataka has 200 engineering universities .
    we have Motorway since 20 years , If u make analysis of its benefits in 20 years. U will be disappointed , IF Sharif family have invested that money in building new world level 50 engineering universities . Today Pakistan would be very different country. Motorway link Lahore to Islamabad and majority of poor people used GT road as it is cheap and 100 KM shorter in distance and many used Railway to travel . Only few thousand rich people of Pakistan used Motorway , whom has cars in Lahore and Islamabad. Last 6 years again sharif family waste of Pak , even they did not build single world class engineering uni in Pak. Whereas Karntka has 250 engineering universities and become the 6th largest car producer in world.

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  • Nawab
    Jul 4, 2014 - 2:56PM

    Well I am not sure how this Sukkur-Multan “New Motorway” within few Kilometers of N5 ( national highway ) is going to help anyone?

    This means the area where most of the important crops and export mangoes come from will be stripped of Mango tree, other local variety of tree, add to noise pollution of nearby villages, divide access to land across motorway making it difficult to properly sow or manage the watering. All the water courses will be cut in between so reducing access to water.

    If you dig deep NHA only driven by isolated view on people of the area has given few weeks for so called assessment of economic and environmental impact, which is impossible looking at the fact that such project take at least one to two years for impact assessments on lives of people in the area or impact on flora or fauna of the area.

    Question why a new motorway when NHA already has N5?
    Question why has new motorway impact assessment time when consultants are asking for it.

    I am sure there is lot hidden underneath :) 90% percent funding from china – kickbacks on purchase of lands etc. etc. we all know how it works in pakistan.

    Subcontracts to people of liking.

    God can only help the people who will be destroyed by this action of NHA.

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  • Nawab
    Jul 4, 2014 - 4:19PM

    Same towns that are connected with N5 – Why waste such a huge amount of resources and destroy everything along the road – whereas hyderabad – karachi section is being done by expanding existing road. Saving lives and precious funds

    experts from RFP by NHA

    I. GENERAL
    Honorable Prime Minister of Pakistan immediately after sworn-in, shared his vision
    of revolutionizing the transportation sector of Pakistan, with the Construction of China
    Pakistan Economic Corridor. There shall be improvement and up-gradation in Roads,
    Railways, Ports and shipping with laying of OFC between the two countries. Among
    highways, this TOR pertains to Construction of Karachi – Lahore Motorway; a 6lane limited
    access facility. The up-gradation from 4-lane to 6-lane Motorway section from Karachi to
    Hyderabad (M-9) is already offered on PPP mode and financial proposals are being
    evaluated. Similarly the section between Multan and Khanewal is under construction through
    IDB financing and from Khanewal to Abdul Hakeem is ready to be taken-up under ADB
    financing.
    The Motorway from Sukkur
    Multan. It will traverse adjacent to cities
    Rahim Yar Khan, Sadiqabad, Zahir Pir,
    Sukkur – Multan will start from Sukkur and end at
    Rohri, Pannu Aqil, Ghotki, Gudu, Ubauro
    Jalalpur Pirwala. Approximate length of this Section is about 375K m.

    OBJECTIVE
    The Motorway will contribute to ensure smooth and efficient movement of
    Goods and traffic in healthy environment.
    The planned6 –lane Motorway will largely contribute to the economic development of the
    Country. Its strategic objectives will include opening the hinter-land areas and will bring
    More population in to the stream of benefits which in turn will change to social complexion
    of people around this corridor. Apart from the usual benefits of saving in time etc. It will also
    integrate major cities en-route and tallying more harmony and competitive exports. Running
    in rather close proximity of national N -5 it will transform the pattern of transportation in
    Pakistan. All major Industries en-route will have direct benefit of competitive transportation
    System whereby resulting in competitive export of goods and products. It will bring about
    Further revolution in road transport and time saving journey for passengers. A very rough
    estimation of the population to be benefited from this Motorway is around 80 Million. It will
    open up new venues of new industrial Towns and economic centers augment the exiting
    industrial hubs in a manner that both will mutually complement each o ther.
    Recommend

  • Boon
    Jul 4, 2014 - 9:46PM

    All these huge investments in infrastructure projects will serve the interest of ruling elites and industrialists of the country through procuring raw material for said projects on excessive biding and kick backs,The country needs huge investments in education , health and other basic necessities of life for common segment of population.PML N government follows UAE and KSA development model. Poor population needs free education health facilities and cheaper food as well as shelter.

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  • Nawab
    Jul 5, 2014 - 1:40AM

    Well guys don’t you think it is interesting and funny that all these towns that are now going to be “connected” by motorway they already have N5 which already is six lane in this section of Punjab :

    http://downloads.nha.gov.pk/images/stories/services/routedistance/rd1.jpg

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