The Senate Standing Committee on Communications received an update from the National Highway Authority (NHA) on the progress of under-construction motorways. The Sialkot-Khairian project has reached 50% alignment handover and made substantial construction progress. However, due to concerns about the lead contractor’s qualifications, the Kharian-Rawalpindi project had to rescind a Letter of Intent.
On September 20, as reported by a news source, the Senate Standing Committee on Communications received a comprehensive briefing from the National Highway Authority (NHA) team regarding the construction of motorways.
The National Highway Authority has presented an extensive report regarding the ongoing motorway projects in Pakistan to the Senate Standing Committee on Communications. In this regard, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of Communications Minister Shahid Ashraf Tarar, attended by the Secretary of Communications from NHA and Chairman Muhammad Khurram Agha. During this meeting, they provided updates on the progress of the construction of two motorways: the Kharian-Rawalpindi Motorway and the Sialkot-Khairian Motorway.
Progress of Under-Construction Motorways – M 13
Concerning the Sialkot-Kharian Motorway project, it was noted that it commenced in October 2022. To date, 50% of the alignment has been handed over to the Concessionaire. The project has made significant progress, with approximately 45% completion achieved in the handed-over section, including substantial advancements in constructing key structures.
Progress of Under-Construction Motorways – M 12
As for the Kharian-Rawalpindi Motorway project, it was revealed that the revocable Letter of Intent, which was originally issued to the top-ranked bidder, M/s Techno-Matracon JV in partnership with Power China Chengdu, has been rescinded. This decision was made due to the bidder’s inability to provide sufficient evidence that M/s Power China Chengdu was the lead EPC Constructor, as indicated in their bid.
Kharian-Rawalpindi Motorway (M-13 Motorway)
The M-13 motorway is currently under construction since September 2022. This 117 km long motorway will connect Rawalpindi to Kharian and is equipped with 8 interchanges, 2 service areas, 26 bridges, including one spanning River Jhelum, and two twin-tube tunnels. It is designed to have four lanes, with the potential to expand to six lanes. The project will significantly reduce travel time between Islamabad and Lahore by one hour compared to the existing M2 Motorway, alleviating traffic congestion on the N5 Highway. Additionally, it will link to the M2 Motorway via the Rawalpindi Ring Road
This motorway’s construction and reduced distance to Islamabad is expected to stimulate economic growth and social mobility in the region, promoting trade and fostering the development of new communities and economies along its route. Moreover, it will enhance connectivity between Mirpur Azad Kashmir, located close to Mangla, and the rest of Pakistan.
Sambrial-Kharian Motorway (M-12 Motorway)
The M-12 motorway, also known as the Sambrial-Kharian motorway, is under construction in Pakistan since July 2022. It will link the cities of Sambrial and Kharian and cover a distance of 69 kilometers, featuring 5 interchanges, a service area, and a bridge stretching over the River Chenab for 1 kilometer. This motorway is designed to have four lanes, with the possibility of expansion to six lanes and a target speed limit of 120 km/h (75 mph). The expected completion time for the M-12 is two years.
In conclusion, the recent update provided by the National Highway Authority (NHA) regarding the progress of under-construction motorways in Pakistan sheds light on the significant developments and challenges faced in these vital infrastructure projects. The Sialkot-Khairian Motorway project has showcased commendable progress, with 50% of the alignment handed over and substantial construction achievements. This milestone promises enhanced connectivity and reduced travel times, facilitating economic growth and social mobility in the region.
However, the Kharian-Rawalpindi Motorway project encountered a setback with the rescission of the Letter of Intent due to concerns about the lead contractor’s qualifications. This underscores the importance of rigorous scrutiny and adherence to standards in such critical endeavors.