ISLAMABAD: Some of the critical road projects of the National Highways Authority (NHA) including the western route under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway faced inordinate delay due to inconsistent policies and shortage of funds, official sources revealed to Business Recorder.
Sources revealed that cost overruns in mega projects of the NHA have become routine due to inconsistent policies, shortage of funds, security reasons, and willful incompetence on the part of the contractors.
The western route and Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway, which are critical components of the CPEC, connecting Gwadar Port with other parts of the country failed to achieve the scheduled progress during the first three years of the incumbent government, they added.
The delay in projects completion was also confirmed through the NHA mobile application (NHA-IS), which provides up to date information about work on the CPEC and other road projects.
Hakla-DI Khan Motorway (CPEC) is 285 kilometers long and part of western route, which was divided into five packages at an estimated cost of Rs 145.5 billion including Rs 20 billion for land acquisition and utilities.
The project was divided into five smaller sections, so that work could be completed according to the given timeframe, i.e. by end 2019.
Construction of Hakla on M-I to Yarik DIKhan Motorway (CPEC) (Rehmani Khel to KotBalian) Package-2B begin in 2017 at an estimated cost of Rs 17.223 billion and was scheduled for completion by June 2019.
However, 82 percent physical and 91.02 percent progress has been achieved so far. Construction of Hakla on M-I to Yarik DIKhan Motorway (CPEC) (Rehmani Khel to KotBalian) Package-2A begin in July 2017 at an estimated cost of Rs 9.232 billion and completion was scheduled for June 2019, however, 80 percent physical and 67.35 percent financial progress has been achieved so far.
Construction of Hakla on M-I to Yarik DIKhan Motorway (CPEC) (Yarak-Rahmani Khel) Package-I begin in September 2016 with an estimated cost of Rs12.758 billion and was scheduled to be completed by May 2019.
However, the project has achieved85.37 percent physical and 71.33 percent financial progress so far.
Construction of Hakla on M-I to Yarik DIKhan Motorway (CPEC) (PindiGheb to Hakla) Package-V was started in January 2017 with an estimated cost of Rs16.845 billion and was scheduled to be completed by January 2019.
However, the projected has achieved 46.07 percent physical and 43.44 percent financial progress so far.
For the Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway project, an advertisement was released in the national and international print media on October 10, 2016, inviting Expression of Interest (EoI) regarding pre-qualification of firms.
The NHA bid opening/evaluation committee opened technical proposals on February 14, 2017.
Subsequent to finalisation of technical evaluation, financial proposals of all the three bidders were opened on March 7, 2017 and scheduled completion of the project in three years at a cost of Rs 175 billion. However, after assuming power, the incumbent government shelved Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway (M-6) project.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) has approved the Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway at a revised cost of Rs 191.47 billion. The 306km Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway will be construct as six-lane-divided, fenced motorway on a build, operate and transfer (BOT)-basis. Work is expected to be launched next year, official added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021