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Top Story

October 2, 2015
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UK to provide $92m for motorways construction

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October 2, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: The United Kingdom (UK) has agreed to provide $92 million grants for the construction of one key section of the M-4 Motorway located in the Punjab, which will help the country to ensure connectivity under the much-hyped $46.4 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Kingdom have agreed to fund a key section of the M-4 motorway in the Punjab province, which will cut travel times and support the Government of Pakistan’s broader goal of improved investment and trade flows along the country’s vital north-south corridor route.
The ADB is providing a project loan of $178 million and administering a $92 million equivalent grant from the United Kingdom to build a four-lane section of the motorway linking Gojra to Shorkot. It was the second project in recent weeks where the UK diverted its grant amounts for the CPEC.
Once fully completed, the M-4 motorway — which connects Faisalabad with Multan and is part of the CPEC — will provide a faster, safer, more cost-effective north-south route to the currently overburdened National Highway 5.
“Road transport dominates Pakistan’s transport system, but much of the national highway network was built before the 1950s and consists of poor-quality two-lane roads which struggle to cope with the current high levels of traffic, including heavily-laden freight trucks,” said Zheng Wu, Transport Specialist in ADB’s Central and West Asia Department.
“The project supports the government’s goals of decongesting highways and improving the north-south corridor to reduce the time and cost of moving people and goods, which is a major constraint to raising competitiveness, and attracting private sector investment needed to generate sustainable jobs for a fast growing population,” he added.
The north-south corridor, covering 1,800 kilometers, connects the port city of Karachi in the south with Torkham on the northern border with Afghanistan,

and passes through major production and population centers, including Lahore, Faisalabad and Islamabad.
The economy of the area served by the corridor accounts for up to 85% of Pakistan’s gross domestic product, and the route is a key link in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Programme’s network of cross-border corridor routes between land-locked Central Asian nations and Pakistan’s warm water ports on the Arabian Sea.
Along with building an over 60-kilometer stretch of the motorway, the project will also provide training and other support to the National Highway Authority (NHA) to raise its capacity for road management, including maintenance, contracts and road safety.
The ADB has been the lead development agency for road development in Pakistan, and together with its development partners, has helped transform the NHA from a bureaucratic government department into a modern service-driven asset management organisation.
The project will directly benefit local communities, transport operators, freight forwarders and traders of agricultural products, as well as helping to indirectly reduce poverty.
The completion of another section of the motorway from Shorkot to Khanewal will increase the overall benefits and help complete the M-4 as an alternate route to the existing congested roads in the Faisalabad and Khanewal-Multan-Muzaffargarh areas.
The project, which includes government counterpart support of $46 million, will run for four years with an expected completion date of November 2019.
The ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally-sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members — 48 from the region. In 2014, the ADB’s assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including co-financing of $9.2 billion.

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