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ISLAMABAD: The Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway project at the cost of Rs182.5 billion, along with N-25 Karachi-Quetta Road worth approximately Rs200 billion, and Mianwali-Muzaffargarh Road valued at approximately Rs100 billion, are being processed for implementation under the public-private partnership mode.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Monday chaired a meeting to review various road infrastructure projects under the public-private partnership mode. National Highways Authority (NHA) chairman Capt Sikandar Qayyum, PPPA CEO Malik Ahmed Khan, and other senior officials were present at the meeting.

The minister was briefed on various projects currently under consideration for implementation under the PPP mode.

The sources said according to the Ministry of Planning, the construction of Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway at a cost of Rs182.5 billion, in partnership with the private sector, potentially saving Rs50 billion compared with a road scheme completed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The per-kilometre construction cost of the six-lane motorway is Rs596.4 million compared with the cost of Rs760 million for the Sukkur-Multan motorway built under the CPEC.

The Sukkur-Multan motorway had been built under a government-to-government deal between China and Pakistan.

Compared with the Sukkur-Multan project, the Sukkur-Hyderabad project's per-kilometre construction cost is Rs164 million or 21.5 percent lower. In terms of total project cost, it translates into savings of Rs50 billion.

The sources said at the CPEC project rates, the Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway cost was Rs232 billion. Now, the project has been placed before the Public-Private Partnership Authority for approval.

After being approved by the PPPA, the National Highways Authority (NHA) will float tenders for competitive bidding. The minister said those projects would help to provide good road infrastructure facilities in collaboration with the private sector.

The minister further directed to complete the design and feasibility studies of both the project by 31st March 2021. The National Highway N-25 connects Karachi with Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, and provides access to Afghanistan via Chaman. This project includes construction of additional carriageway and rehabilitation of existing road to make it a 4-lane divided carriageway.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020