Bypass links the Karachi Port Trust to the National Highway and the Super Highway
ISLAMABAD.: The National Assembly was informed on Thursday the government would undertake the projects of Karachi Northern Bypass and Sukkur-Hyderabad (M-6) motorway, which would be executed on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.
Replying to a question from Shahida Rehmani during the question hour, Communications Minister Murad Saeed Thursday said at present most part of Karachi Northern Bypass was a single carriageway but the level of service on it was good and the accident ratio was not high.
The Northern bypass links the Karachi Port Trust to the National Highway and the Super Highway. “The dualisation of 56-kilometer-long Northern Bypass has been planned and hiring of consultants has been initiated,” the minister told the house.
“Its dualization through public-private partnership mode or funding through Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) is being considered. The construction work might start after hiring consultants and the contractor by the end of year 2019.”
Saeed said that the communications ministry was focusing on axle management of heavy vehicles. “A mechanism for implementation of the National Road Safety Policy is being prepared in consultation with the provincial governments,” he added.
According to the minister, highway accidents occurred due to heavy traffic. Pakistan has 13,000 kilometres long roads and the revenue collected at 75 toll plazas was being spent on maintenance of the roads.
He said repair work on Pindi-Jhelum road has started, adding that the revenue of the National Highway Authority (NHA) would be increased to Rs100 billion and this money would be spent on repairing roads.
He said that a part of the Sukkur-Multan (M-5) motorway was being executed in Sindh. “The project was started in August 2016 and the present government is ensuring its timely completion,” the minister said.
He added that the government was also preparing a detailed design and commercial feasibility of the Sukkur-Hyderabad (M-6) motorway.
“The timeline for award of contract of this project is December, 2019,” he said, assuring that the federal government would release funds for the project.
The minister said that Chakdara-Timergara, Akhagram-Dir and Kalkatak-Chitral roads would be rebuilt and made part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). “The widening of 30 kilometres long Chakdara-Chitral (N-45) road would be partly funded through Korean EXIM Bank.”
Responding to a question from Sher Akbar Khan, Saeed said the government was taking keen interest in early completion of the Islamabad Metro bus project and the expected completion date for electrical and mechanical work of the project was June 30.
“Some delays has occurred due to late quarterly release of funds from the PSDP,” the minister told the house, adding that the package one, two, three and four of the metro bus project have been completed, substantially.
He said continuous monitoring of the project was being ensured at senior level, while review meetings were being held even in the Prime Minister’s Office and all possible steps were being taken by the government for early completion of the project.
Speaking in the house later, Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem sought cooperation of the opposition for the passage of legislation in the Senate, stressing that the bills to be introduced in the upper house in the coming days would be people-friendly.
Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Member of the National Assembly Naveed Qamar told the house that if the legislation was people-friendly, the opposition would extend its support. The minister pointed out that the opposition had blocked a bill for increase in the number of high court judges in a Senate committee.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Rana Tanveer told the house that the number of judges in the lower courts were increased in the past and a number of facilities were given to them but the the desired results could not be achieved.