KARACHI, Feb 3 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Friday said the government’s focus on expansion of motorways network across the country had realized the dream of a developed and prosperous Pakistan.
“Today, the people are witnessing the emergence of a new Pakistan with improved infrastructure and communication network, and we have given reality to this dream,” the Prime Minister said in his address at the inauguration of 75-km-long section of Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway.
The Prime Minister said motorways were a lifeline to the country’s economy and were significant in enhancing national unity by reducing the distances among people belonging to different parts of country.
He said his government was completely focusing on its agenda of development and progress, paying no heed to the negative politicking around.
“Building the nation is no way a child’s play and requires utmost dedication and hard work, which we are delivering,” he said.
Nawaz Sharif said, “The people of Pakistan can well distinguish the dedicated and selfless leaders from those who have wasted time of the nation by impeding development through protests.”
He said economy of a country depended a lot on comprehensive road network, however regretted that those who traveled in routine through chartered aircraft were most critical of construction of motorways and roads.
“Such people have no realization about the importance of roads for common people including farmers, workers and students who daily travel through roads for jobs or education,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he was grateful to Allah Almighty as the country had embarked upon a new journey towards progress and prosperity.
The Prime Minister said the country would have a six- lane motorway from Karachi to Peshawar by 2019, boosting the national economy and generating millions of new jobs.
Prime Minister Sharif said it was vital to make the communications links across the country better to help take the country forward as the pace of development cannot reach remote areas of the country without a good quality road network.
He said over 60 per cent work on the project was completed, while work was going on the remaining sections, including the service roads, interchanges and other infrastructure.
The Prime Minister said people of Pakistan were now witnessing the real creation of new Pakistan and said it was nothing but fulfillment of all the promises made by him in 2013.
He said three years back he came into power with a commitment and zeal to turn around the national economy.
Prime Minister Sharif said in 2013 the country was in dire straits, with infrastructure in shambles and a deteriorated economy.
He said it was vital to turn around the economy to provide new employment opportunities to the youth, who are at the risk of being used by extremist elements.
He said international financial organisations have spoken in unison about the remarkable turnaround, the Karachi Stock Exchange had amazed the world. He said only those country’s that made progress which had a sound communications infrastructure.
He said Pakistan too would have been at the top, had the pace of progress not been hindered in 1999.
Prime Minister Sharif said thousands were today getting jobs on projects related to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), while their number would multiply once the project completes.
Prime Minister appreciated Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal, DG Frontier Works Organization and the NHA for their hard work and completion of the assigned tasks earlier than the stipulated time.
He said he had an aerial view of the completed section and said it was at par with any international road.
Prime Minister Sharif said plantation was being done on both sides of the newly completed section of the road, while new rest areas were being setup to ease the travel of the people.
He said in next two to three years, work on all ongoing sections of Motorways would complete and by 2016 the country would have a six-lane road network.
He said had the pace of work continued in 1990s, there would have been a road link to every remotest area of the country.
Sharif said his government’s primary focus was on development in Balochistan and said Gwadar would be one of the
best ports in the world. He said with the completion of the Gwadar – Quetta section of M-8 Motorway, it was now possible to travel from one location to another in half the day.
He said today all provinces were being connected to others through multiple road corridors, cutting down on travel
time, with huge savings on fuel and costs.
He said Pakistan’s communication network was changing as apart from motorways, four-lane highways were being built in different areas of the country.
He said dualisation of 126 km long Jamshoro – Sehwan Sharif road would be done, adding the federal government would fund the project for the people of Sindh.
The Prime Minister said 10,000 MW of electricity would be added to the national grid this year and would rise to 30,000 MW by next few years.
He said there was zero loadshedding for the industries and soon power outages would be a thing of the past.
He said electricity was now being generated at half the cost through LNG, coal, hydel, wind and solar power. He said Diamer Bhahsha dam would help meet the future energy and water needs of the country.
Sharif expressed the hope that work on Thar Coal project was also going on at a fast pace.
Prime Minister Sharif said the government was spending over Rs 1000 billion on numerous road building projects across the country and said.
Director General Frontier Works Organization (FWO) Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal said the project was the toughest in FWO’s history as heavy traffic of 30,000 to 40,000 vehicles daily plied on this section during the construction work.
He mentioned the support of Sindh government and National Highway Authority (NHA) in completion of the M-9 project on build-operate-transfer basis.
He said 136-kilometre-long road was the country’s lifeline and hub of economic prosperity due to its proximity
with Kemari Port.
He said the six-lane Karachi to Hyderabad section of M-9 motorway has four sections including 10 interchanges – eight new and two old ones.
The DG FWO said a trauma centre and a school were also being considered along the road.
Chairman NHA Shahid Ashraf Tarar said NHA at present was carrying out 13 projects including three motorways.
He said on completion, the length of motorways would be increased from 600 kilometres to 2,000 kilometres.
He mentioned that focus was being laid on the CPEC’s western route which would pass through the under-privileged
areas of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and would also generate employment opportunities. —APP