ISLAMABAD: An amount of Rs.185 billion has been allocated in the budget of 2015-16 for highways sector projects, comprising motorways, highways, bridges, tunnels, and regional roads.
This was announced by Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization Muhammad Ishaq Dar while delivering his Budget 2015-16 speech in the National Assembly on Friday.
Dar said that during the next fiscal year, allocation would be 65 per cent more than the ongoing fiscal year’s allocation for communications sector.
He said that due to its geographical location, Pakistan has the potential to provide road link to the entire region.
For taking advantage of this strategic position, there was a need to build a modern communications system, he added.
The minister said among the highways sector early construction of 1152 km Karachi-Lahore Motorway (KLM) was the top most priority of the government, which would change the destiny of the nation.
The KLM would not only provide new job opportunities, it would help provide easy access to farmers’ goods to markets, and would contribute to economic progress, he added.
Rs 120 billion have been earmarked for 276 km Lahore-Khanewal Section of KLM while for 387 km Multan-Sukkur Section, Rs 61 billion have been allocated while for 296 KM Sukkur to Hyderabad Section, Rs 10.5 billion have been set aside.
He said that in the next budget funds have been allocated for several highway projects which include 200-KM section of Gwadar-Ratodero Motorway,Hoshab-Surab section of N-85,Faisalabad-Khanewal Expressway, and Lowari Tunnel.
Moreover, he said that Federal Government will build a world class bus transit system as a gift for Karachi people. To be run between Saddar to Surjani town, it will carry 300,000 passengers daily, he added.
He said the project costing Rs 16 billion would be completed by December 2016.
He said that the government has taken initiative of resurfacing of Islamabad-Lahore Motorway with the collaboration of private sector as it was built in 1997 and during last 18 years no attention was paid to its renovation.