Saturday May 28, 2022

Ecnec approves motorway from Burhan/Hakla to DI Khan

April 24, 2016


In a bid to remove controversy over western route under the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) once and for all, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) under chairmanship of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday approved construction of motorway from Burhan/Hakla to DI Khan at the rationalised cost of Rs124.208 billion against earlier estimated cost of Rs129 billion.

The Ecnec meeting considered and approved proposal submitted by the Ministry of Ports and Shipping regarding provision of coal conveying system from Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT) to Railway Network at Port Qasim at revised cost of Rs13.332 billion. This project was approved with foreign exchange component of Rs6 billion.

The Ministry of Communication informed the meeting that the route for the Burhan/Hakla to DI Khan motorway was as per the joint declaration issued after the all parties conference. Another proposal by the Ministry of Communication regarding land acquisition, affected properties compensation and relocation of utilities for construction of the Burhan/Hakla to DI Khan motorway was also considered at the rationalised cost of Rs11.973 billion. Ecnec approved the two projects, subject to formal confirmation of the route being in accordance with the understanding contained in the joint declaration of the APC.

The project envisages construction of 285km 4-lane expressway from Hakla on M-1 to DI Khan near Yarik on N-55 as part of western route of the CPEC. The proposed motorway will be built as a controlled access facility and includes provision of 11 interchanges, 19 flyovers (6 lanes), 15  bridges (4 lane), 74 underpasses, 259 culverts, and three major bridges (6 lane); one at River Sawan, one at River Indus and third at River Koram. New proposed road network shall facilitate the traffic of backward areas of Punjab and KP. Besides above, the scope of work will also include construction of retaining walls, cross drainage and erosion works. The proposed expressway will have 100m wide right of way (ROW) to convert the proposed four lane facility to six lanes in future. 

The prime minister had directed the NHA to conduct aerial survey to study various options for the western alignment of CPEC. Several alternate proposals were prepared and discussed with their merits/demerits and the proposed route from Hakla on M-1 to DI Khan near Yarik on N-55 having total length of 285km has been finalised.

The proposed motorway being part of the western corridor of the CPEC will serve as an international trade corridor of the country. Moreover, the existing connection from DI Khan to Rawalpindi/Islamabad is via Chashma may be closed down sooner or later owing to the sensitive establishments of Atomic Energy Commission in the road segment between DI Khan and Chashma. The new route will be a shortest and fastest facility as compared to the existing available road network from DI Khan to Rawalpindi/Islamabad.

Ecnec also considered and approved the proposal from Ministry of Ports and Shipping for construction of bridge across River Indus connecting Larkana and Khairpur districts with approach roads and river training works at a revised cost of Rs13.397 billion.

Ecnec also approved Kaitu Weir Irrigation and Power Project of Kurram Tangi Dam in Spinwam area of North Waziristan at rationalised cost of Rs21.059 billion.

After detailed deliberations, Ecnec approved the proposal of Ministry of Communications for construction of black top road Yakmach-Kharan via Distain Wadh Khurmagai in Baluchistan at the firmed up cost of Rs13.758 billion.

The Ecnec accorded conditional approval to western route project because KPK government's representative raised the issue that the route was not yet finalized. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar replied that the route was finalized in the All Parties Conference and his decision would stand nullified if it proved contrary to APC decision. So Ecnec approved this project conditionally.