Pakistan, ADB sign $178m agreement for M-4 section

Published: October 23, 2015
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Will link southern parts of Punjab with north; UK provides grant to complete.

Will link southern parts of Punjab with north; UK provides grant to complete.

ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday signed a loan agreement of $178 million for construction of the Gojra-Shorkot section of the M-4 Motorway, aimed at linking the southern parts of the country with the northern belt.

The United Kingdom will also fund road construction and would provide $90.7 million as a grant. The UK will disburse funds through the ADB. The government will invest the counterpart share of $46 million, bringing the total cost of the project to $315 million.

ADB to provide Pakistan $1.2 billion annually for infrastructure development

The M-4 Motorway will have four sections. The Faisalabad-Gojra’s 58-kilometre section has been opened for traffic. The project was completed by obtaining a loan of $170 million from the ADB. However, a dispute between the contractor and the NHA remains unresolved.

The Gojra-Shorkot section of 62km will be completed by 2019. The rest of the sections are Shorkot-Din Pur-Khanewal (64km) and Khanewal-Multan (45km).

Once the M-4 is completed, it will link the southern parts of Punjab with the north through already established networks of motorways. The M-4 Motorway will extend the already completed M-1, M-2 and M-3 motorways southward and shorten the distance between Multan and the twin cities of Islamabad-Rawalpindi.

Govt fails to utilise ADB’s $2.5b investment in power sector

Upon completion, the M-4 Motorway will provide a four-lane access controlled alternative to the existing narrow and congested routes notably in the heavily trafficked Faisalabad and Khanewal-Multan-Muzffargrah areas.

Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Secretary Saleem Sethi and the ADB Country Director Werner Liepach signed the loan agreement.

It is the second project that is being co-financed by the UK government. Britain is already a participant of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and provided $121.6 million in grant to fund construction of the Burhan-Havelian Expressway, which falls on the northern route.

Asian Development Bank to consider providing more funds

The ADB said the new investment will boost the flow of trade and travel while reducing transportation cost and time from Pakistan’s textile producing hub Faisalabad towards Multan, which is the major trade centre in southern Punjab.

The ADB and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) have joined hands to assist Pakistan in improving the country’s vital north-south road network to promote economic growth, job creation and regional connectivity, according to an official handout issued by the local office of the Manila-based lending agency.

Acting head of the UK’s DFID Judith Herberston said UK’s partnership with ADB and the government of Pakistan will help improve road safety and enhance local and regional trade.

The M-4 is also a step towards positioning Pakistan to act as a transit artery for goods moving between the port city of Karachi in the south to Torkham on the northern border with Afghanistan through the country’s major business and population centres.

The 1,800-km route will also eventually link Pakistan’s ports with the land-locked regions of Central Asia, and will allow Pakistan to reap dividends of its active membership in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Programme, said the ADB.

The EAD secretary thanked ADB and DIFD for providing vital support to Pakistan, particularly for efficiency gain from road traffic operation along the National Transport Corridor. He assured Pakistan’s commitment to mobilise all-out efforts and scale up practices for improving and developing inter-provincial linkages to improve local connectivity.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2015.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Amir
    Oct 23, 2015 - 9:29AM

    When is the Karachi – Punjab side going to be built?
    Our CM or PPP is sleeping..wake them up to also complete the Malir bridge…Recommend

  • Khan
    Oct 23, 2015 - 10:10AM

    Any updates on the Karachi – Hyderabad Motorway??Recommend

  • Tony
    Oct 23, 2015 - 10:21AM

    @Khan: Work on the Karachi Hyderabad motorway has already begun. You will notice it in full swing if you take the highway. The credit for this however goes to pmln government as ppp government continues to sleep.Recommend

  • Rizwan
    Oct 23, 2015 - 3:44PM

    2019? Too lateRecommend

  • concerned
    Oct 23, 2015 - 4:23PM

    We need Karachi to Punjab motorways asap

    Recommend

  • Shah
    Oct 23, 2015 - 6:02PM

    So all the fund are actually being spend to develop infrastructure in Punjab, either its Motorways,Highways or all the road webs, and same is the case of energy sector, where hawelian project recently started is part of the CPEC, or either its railway tracks. This was the reason the route has been changed from Eastern route that was confirm route to the western route to give all the benefits to punjab. Such policies of provincial centered federation promote differences and hatred among provinces, where the purpose of this corridor from china was to progress their less fortune province and also develop the Balochistan, who have more right on the route as Gawadar is part of Balochistan Province, surely which can to detached and brought to Lahore. Such policies will make this route too controversial and cause of weakening the country as a federation. Recommend

  • Syed Zulfiqar
    Oct 23, 2015 - 7:51PM

    @Tony @Amir: PPP Govt is not sleeping they are enjoying being VVIPs.Recommend

  • Abdul Mannan Lodhi
    Oct 23, 2015 - 10:52PM

    I as Pakistani am thankful to all the agencies basks and other institutions who are helping in my country’s development in one way or the other .I have read with gratitude about the grant of UK in the construction of the part of this very useful project.I wish we are one day able to repay what ever we can to all those who have helped us. Now I thank UK for their help to Pakistan.Recommend

  • Oct 24, 2015 - 8:46AM

    @Syed Zulfiqar: yessir, they are “VERY, VERY IRRITATING PERSONS.” Salams
    Still taking a grant of US 90 million from UK after so many year of independence? Then these garbage politicians must not talk of sovereignty. Why not issue five to seven year bonds with a lucrative return? This will give Filipino to the secondary money market. SalamsRecommend

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