Vision Of Prime Minister Of Pakistan –Transperancy And Development Through Construction

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By: Mr. Gohar Zaman Babar

Public Relations Directorate(NHA)

After  coming  into  power,  the  present  government  focused  on  improving  the  performance  of  national  institutions.  To  further  improve  the  efficiency  and working    regime   of    National    Highway    Authority    with the objective  to  inculcate transparency & fairness in its  affairs  was  a  great  challenge  to  the  government.  However,  keeping   in   view   the   vision   of   Prime   Minister   Mr.   Imran   Khan, National     Highway     Authority,     an     attached     organization    of     Ministry     of Communications,   undertook   concrete   steps   and   chalked   out   comprehensive plan   to   complete   road   infrastructure projects   at   a   rapid   pace   throughout   the country.  Revolutionary measures taken by NHA to translate vision of PM into reality will ever be remembered as a part   of   national   history.   The   first   priority   was   to   construct   motorways   and national  highways  on  Public  Private  Partnership  (PPP)  basis  with  the  view  to reduce  the  financial  burden  on  national  ex-chequer  and  to  make  roads construction  and their maintenance procedures completely transparent.

At  present  times,  it  is  noteworthy that  in  the  past  the  value  of  dollar  was  low while  now  its  value  has  increased.  Cement, steel and building materials were cheap in the past. While presently with increased value of dollar, the rates of construction materials have   also   been   increased.   In   such   state   of   affairs,   the extraordinary measures undertaken by present government have resulted in execution   of national highways and motorways projects at much lower cost.

In the past, despite low dollar rate, 1 Km long, 2 lane Road was constructed at a cost of Rs.  118.171  million  whereas  presently  1  Km  long,  2  lane  Road  is  being constructed  at  cost  of  Rs.  110.991 million despite increase  in dollar  rate.  In the  past 4-lane   national   highway   was   completed   at   cost   of   Rs.   411.078   million   per kilometer,  while  the  Pakistan  Tehreek-e-Insaf  (PTI)  government  is  constructing 4-lane national highway at cost of Rs. 173.515 million per Km. Again,  previously,  one  km  long  road  was used to be rehabilitated  and  maintained  at cost of Rs. 80.111 million, while presently this cost has been reduced to Rs. 53.400  million.  In  the  past,  4  lane  motorway  on  Build  Operate  Transfer  (BOT) basis  was  built  at  Rs.  606.044 million  per  km.  while  presently,  4  lane  motorway on  Build  Operate  Transfer  (BOT)  is  costing  Rs.  395.652 million per km.  Prime Minister of    Pakistan    Mr.    Imran    Khan    has    commended    efforts    made    by construction experts and engineers of NHA for building roads at low cost.

Due to transparency and effective process of self reliance, a considerable saving has been achieved by starting projects at low cost. National   Highway   Authority   is   also earning revenue  from  Toll  Plazas  and  exploitation  of  its  Right  of  Way  (ROW). Resultantly, NHA is not getting loan from the government for construction and maintenance of roads. Now, the government is spending this money on public welfare schemes of health and education sectors including the Ehsaas Program. It   is   worth mentioning   that   introduction   of   e-Bidding   system   is another  remarkable  step forward towards ensuring transparency in award of roads    construction    and    maintenance    projects,    for    which    NHA    deserves appreciation.

Credit goes to National Highway Authority (NHA) for recapturing  its land from the land mafia. Presently issues relating to land acquisition are being resolved  in  an  efficient  manner  thereby ensuring   timely  completion  of  road projects.    The    present    government    has    played    a    vital    role    in recapturing land  from  land  mafia.  It  seems  appropriate  to  recall  that  NHA  is controlling  51  roads  network  across  the  country  having  total  length  of  13,572 Kms that  includes  11,255  Km  long  38-National  Highways,  2055  Km  long  10- motorways and 262 long 3-strategic roads.

Following the vision  of  the  Prime  Minister  of  Pakistan  Mr.  Imran  Khan, Ministry of  Communications,  National  Highway  Authority  has  successfully  started  construction   of   motorways   and   national   highways   under   Public   Private Partnership  (PPP)  mode,  thus  providing  opportunity  to  Private  Sector  to come forward and  invest in  road  building  schemes  of  the  Public  Sector.  The  Federal  Government  has formulated  a  comprehensive  policy  to  undertake  projects  on  the  PPP  mode.  To this  effect,  an  Act  has  also  been  approved  for  effective  implementation  of  such projects.  Establishment  of  Public  Private  Partnership  Authority  is reflective of  Government’s keen interest  to  this pragmatic  approach.  A  Public  Private  Partnership  Cell  is also   actively   functional   at   NHA   head   office.   The   Cell   has   made   practical advancement  for  private  sector  participation  in  National  Highways,  Motorway, Tunnels  and  bridges  projects  in  the  country.  NHA  considers  that  the  technical, managerial  and  financial  resources  of  the  Private  Sector  can  fortify its efforts towards national development. After carefully    evaluating    a    wide    range    of alternatives,  NHA  has  decided  to  encourage  the  private  sector  to  participate  in a  number  of  significant  projects  of  national  highways  and  motorway  as  well  as a  limited  number  of  tunnel  and  bridge  projects  with  the  view  to  support  and sustain  Pakistan’s  rapid  rate  of  economic  growth.  This  initiative  will  not  only prepare   the   ground  to   promote   construction   industry   but  will   help   at  large reduce   financial   load   on   national   ex-chequer.   Undoubtedly,   the  private sector financing    based schemes  are  repository  to  national  development  ultimately  putting  country  on the track towards a new Pakistan.

During   the   last   a   few   years,   NHA   remained   successful   in   providing conducive  atmosphere  for  private  sector  investment  in  road  sector and  to date  has  completed  four  projects  of  worth  around  Pak  Rs  135  billion on  Build-Operate-Transfer  (BOT)  basis.  Construction  of  2  km long   new   flyover   (Habibabad   bridge)   located   on   N-5   is   one   of   the   projects completed    on    PPP  mode   at    cost    of    Rs.    0.831    billion.    Likewise    overlay    and modernization  of  357  km  Lahore-Islamabad  motorway  has  also  been  realized costing  more  than  Rs.  46  billion.  Further,  conversion  of  4-Lane  highway  into six  lane  Karachi-Hyderabad  motorway  was  also  taken  on  PPP  mode.  This  136 km long motorway was completed at cost of Rs. 44.251 billion. Another milestone of  NHA  is  the  completion  of  89  km  long  Lahore-Sialkot  motorway.  This  4  Lane motorway  is  built  with  6  lane  structures  at  cost  of  Rs.  43.847   billion.  This motorway  has  linked  industrial  city  of  Sialkot  with  motorways  network  of  the country. On successful completion, all these projects are operational now.

NHA has now decided to  undertake  nine  more  projects  on  this emerging concept of PPP having total    length    of    1726    Km.    Hyderabad-Sukkur    Motorway   is a project of national as well as regional significance.   NHA   is   endeavoring   for   earlier start of construction activity on this mega project.  Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway will be 306  km  long,  14  interchanges,  one  major  bridge  on  River  Indus,  6  flyovers,  10 Service  Areas  and  12  Rest  Areas  will  also  be  built  along  this  motorway.  NHA  is working  to  start  work  on  this  last  missing  link  of  Peshawar-Karachi  Motorway

(PKM)   economic   corridor   at   the   earliest.   The   PKM   will   pave   the   way  of prosperity besides promoting regional trade through ports of Karachi and Gwadar.

Participation   of   private   sector   in   motorways   and   highways   building will  bring  National  Highway  Authority  and  Private  Sector  more  closer to each other  to  have  maximum  advantage  from  experiences of each other.

The  government’s  vision  is  to  build  roads  and  expand  road  network  to  a

great extent   by   2030,   so   as to achieve goals of   national   and   regional   economic integration.   In   order   to   achieve   this objective, cooperation of the private sector is an important element. National   Highway   Authority   (NHA)   has  also   undertaken   gigantic   game changer  China  Pakistan  Economic  Corridor  (CPEC)  Program  and  Central  Asia Regional  Economic  Cooperation  Program  (CAREC)  under  which  country  wide national  highways  and  motorways  projects  are  being  started.  The  transparent efforts  being  made  by  NHA  in line with the  vision  of  Prime  Minister  of  Pakistan  Mr. Imran Khan will have far-reaching positive impact on economic conditions of the whole region in general  and that of Pakistan   in   particular. This   will   ultimately   be instrumental in making Pakistan a hub of regional trade in the true perspective.