Saturday, 10 June 2017

Karachi to Hyderabad motorway (M-9) likely to be opened on August 14

ISLAMABAD: The National Highway Authority (NHA) is all set to complete the Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway (M-9) by August this year, almost seven months ahead of its scheduled completion date.

The project is likely to be inaugurated on August 14, well before the time in view of its unusual importance as around 80% of the trade activities in the country are going to be linked with this route.

The cost of the project is Rs44 billion and, once completed, it is likely to bring a revolution in terms of connecting the country’s vital economic centres with the upcountry by facilitating the movement of heavy commercial vehicles originating from the Karachi Port and Port Qasim.

It will also facilitate the traffic coming from Karachi Northern Bypass (KNBP) and Makran Coastal Highway (MCH), say the documents available with The Express Tribune.

Connecting the country’s two important commercial centres – Karachi and Hyderabad – the M-9 will carry around 35 thousand vehicles every day. These vehicles include 18-20 thousand heavy commercial vehicles originating from Karachi Port and Port Qasim, according to the documents.

The project was started in September 2015 under public-private partnership as the government was short of funds to finance this project. The Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) is its contractor and concessionaire.

The first 80km-long section of the motorway has already been successfully completed. It was inaugurated in February 2017. “It is one of the mega projects on which the government has not spent a single penny,” said NHA spokesperson Kashif Zaman.

He said the M-9 was being built according to the best international standards along with a 200 km-long 4-lane service road, which means 2-lanes on either side of the motorway. “This is the first motorway in Pakistan that will have four-lane service roads on either side, as usually there is fencing,” he said.

He said it will have 8 new interchanges at Malir, Dumba Goth, Lucky Cement, Power Cement, Noriabad, Thano Bulla Khan and Bolari. These interchanges will link the adjoining areas with the motorway thus facilitating the movement and boosting economic activities.

Meanwhile, in order to facilitate smooth movement of traffic and minimise risks of accidents, provision of proper diversions has been ensured during the construction.

“The rest areas will be equipped with all essential facilities such as restaurant, medical centre, mosque, fuel station, mini workshop, business centres and toilets,” he added.

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