Basima-Surab Road widened at Rs5.5bn cost

Section of Basima-Surab Road (459km) of the western route of CPEC has been widened and improved at a cost of Rs5.5 billion and will officially be inaugurated next month.

This was informed by Chairman National Highway Authority (NHA), Shahid Ashraf Tarar to the Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms on the road projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said that the project Gwadar–Turbat-Hoshab Road (200km) and Khuzdar-Shahdadkot-Ratodero (143km), two sections of Gwadar–Ratodero Road (892km), have also been completed.

He also told the Committee, “We are receiving fund for construction of roads from DI Khan to Zhob and the Prime Minister has approved it. It is a four-lane road and would be discussed in a meeting of Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC).”

The NHA Chairman said that as many as four contractors are mobilised for the construction, land acquisition and technical study of Islamabad-Mianwali-DI Khan CPEC route, while the land acquisition/construction of western alignment and other CPEC projects are under way at a cost of Rs1.84 billion. He said that construction of 59.1-km Burhan-Havelian Expressway (E-35) would be completed in the mid of next year.

He said that the phase-I of Thakot-Havelian Road (120km) is under way at a cost of Rs2.8 billion. There were some issues of land acquisition which have been resolved. He said that the contractors have been mobilized for this project and it would be completed in April 2018. He said that the construction of Multan-Sukkur Motorway project would be completed in August 2019. He said that road from Khuzdar to Quetta would be completed within the next two months and the road would be opened for traffic.

The Secretary Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms told the Committee that construction work on up-gradation of ML-1 Railway Projects (Karachi to Peshawar and Taxila to Havelian) with modern technology and establishment of a dry port near Havelian under CPEC would be started from next year. He said that these are early harvest projects. He said that joint feasibility of the projects has been completed. He said that ML-1 project would be completed in different phases. He said that PC-1 of the project was cleared by Central Development Working Party (CDWP) in June 2016.

He said that the preliminary engineering design of the PL-1 project has been imitated and it is scheduled to be completed by the end of December 2016 for priority sub-projects under phase-1. For phase-11 sub-project, the preliminary design would be completed by June 2017.

He said that China and Asian Development Bank (ADB) would give concessional loan for ML-1 Railway project. He said that negotiations are under way for concessional loan. He said that ADB has shown keen interest to finance Peshawar-Karachi section of ML-1 through concessional financing.