PROLOGUE TEXT: Frontier Works Organization (FWO) started its historic journey from 31 October 1966 with the construction of Karakoram Highway (KKH) - the one and only road link between Pakistan and China. KKH at times has been attributed to as the “8th Wonder of the World” because of its phenomenal altitude that traverses the mountain ranges at heights above 4000 meters. During the last 55 years, FWO has progressed leaps and bounds; hence, considered one of the largest civil engineering firms of Pakistan, contributing immensely in nation building.
As a progressive development firm, having motto of “Sustaining Excellence”, FWO is committed to improve country's infrastructure and has accomplished numerous mega projects in daunting environments such as China - Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) road network in Southern Balochistan, various important projects in areas of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and GilgitBaltistan, as well. FWO has steadily grown, accumulating diverse technical experiences, financial muscle and corporate strategies to become a national indomitable outfit that has undertaken the construction of bridges, roads, tunnels, airfields, railway lines, and dams with irrigation setups all across Pakistan.
The supreme dedication accompanied by sophisticated technology and machinery has enabled FWO to be trusted as the first choice of any client. Beyond the frontiers, the organization has also successfully undertaken construction projects in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Liberia (underthe UN) and UAE.
The organization always remains committed to vision and mission with integrity and honesty and feels proud to cultivate the culture of quality works. Although the engagement of FWO on mostly civil engineering projects signifies its role in peace, but with the same spirit, it has contributed in natural calamities / disaster like situations, as well. FWO has always promptly responded to all calamities and natural disasters, may it be earthquakes, seasonal floods, glacier avalanches and land sliding. With a sublime track record, FWO looks forward to greater challenges and stands better equipped and organized than ever before, to meet them.
As Pakistan braces for the challenges of a new decade of development followed by scarce natural resources and adverse geostrategic environment, it needs national strategic organizations that can be relied upon for reach, resilience, competitiveness and cost-effective solutions. In recent years, FWO has emerged as the most trusted strategic organization that has created engineering marvels. By introducing new trends in tunneling, mining, tourism and information technology, FWO is surely the most relied upon organization in Pakistan.
FWO constructed and operationalized the Kartarpur Corridor in record time of just ten months, while Pakistan's first ever prefabricated state of the art hospital to deal with infectious diseases was constructed in record time frame of just forty days, despite complete Covid lockdown in the country. So many other projects are also underway; expected to be accomplished well before stipulated time frame. FWO is also pioneer of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the country as several significant road projects have been completed through PPP mode.
FWO's tremendous journey of 55 years is backed by its small but dedicated workforce which has demonstrated its competence in various domains of infrastructure development. In achievements of goals and targets, FWO has sacrificed more than 1300 workforce for the national cause.
FWO is specialized in numerous engineering sectors including Infrastructure Works, Energy, Mining, Information Technology, Tourism, Technical Education and Corporate Social Responsibility, under which, so many significant projects are being accomplished across Pakistan.
Jaglot-Skardu Road is a major link between Gilgit and Skardu. FWO has the privilege of its initial track construction which was completed in 1984. Initially width of the track was 3.66 meters which has been extended to 9.1 meters alongwith additional carriageway. Once up-gradation is completed, the distance of this 165 kilometers long road from Jaglot to Skardu will be reduced from 7 hours to 3 hours only.
Work on various portions of Nigore-Suntsar road is under progress. This 54 kilometers long road passes through many small villages of Southern Balochistan such as, Seji Bazar, Smati Bazar and Gabd. Suntsar also has a link road with Mand which is located on Pak-Iran Border. FWO is committed for completion of the project at fast track. After completion it will bring prosperity and improve the connectivity in the region.
Re-modeling of Khayaban-e-Margalla
Re-modeling of Khayaban-e-Margalla Project Rawalpindi, has been awarded to FWO by Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the works commenced on 1st June 2021. The project will connect GT Road from Sangjani to sector D-12 Islamabad and shall provide alternate high mobility route to the residents of the Capital City. Total length of the project is 10.5 kilometers with completion within one year. The project has been divided into 2 portions; balance works portion and new construction portion. Currently project is being executed in balance works portion. Once completed the highway will provide high mobility access to the residents of Islamabad and surrounding areas.
17 kilometers long road project was awarded to enhance tourism opportunities in Galiyat area to reduce congestion on KKH by diverting heavy traffic from Havelian towards Galiyat. Havelian- Dhamtour Road project will provide the shortest access to Galiyat.
Re-modeling of AmmarChowk
Re-modeling of AmmarChowk, Rawalpindi, has been awarded to FWO by Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB) and the project commenced on 15 April 2021. The project will help ease traffic congestion and improve the movement of vehicles as traffic congestion was the biggest issues being faced by the residents of the city. The project is expected to be inaugurated during eve of2022.
Dualization of Old Bannu Road
FWO was awarded this contract to develop the economic uplift through trade activities in less developed areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in February 2018. The project envisages dualization of old Bannu road (83 kilometers) from GaandiChowk to Sarai Naurang and Domail to Krapa, on N-55. This project will also provide alternate route for N-55 and thus sharing traffic volume. The scope of work also includes extension of existing culverts & bridges, construction of retaining walls along with drainage works and allied facilities.
Prime Minister Affordable Housing Scheme
The Peri Urban Housing Scheme is the latest affordable housing programme launched by the Federal Government in collaboration with Government of Punjab and Naya Pakistan Housing & Development Authority (NAPHDA). FWO has been entrusted to fulfil the task. Currently construction of Farash Town and Prime Minister Affordable Housing Programme - Raiwind are already in progress. The esteemed organization is all set out to complete both projects within 1 year and add large number of houses to national housing pool. The project is being designed for people with low income. FWO is making an endeavour to undertake extraordinary measures to restrain the cost of project matching the overall essence of the scheme.
Rehabilitation of Railway Tracks (Samasatta- Bahawalnagar)
FWO has recently been assigned the crucial responsibility of rehabilitation of Bahawalnagar - Samasatta Railway Track. Keeping the highest echelons of quality and speedy construction at paramount importance, within a short span of only 6 weeks from commencement, 69 kilometers of total 183 kilometers of railway track has already been dismantled. Once completed the Railway Track will provide a highly smooth and efficient transportation facility for the community which has been long overdue.
Karachi Transformation Plan (KTP)
While Karachi contributes 25% to the GDP, basic services for its population seem to be in a shamble. Government of Pakistan came up with a comprehensive plan in December 2020 known as the Karachi Transformation Plan. In order to curb the immediate threat of urban flooding, Government of Pakistan through National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), tasked FWO to undertake rehabilitation of Gujjar and Mehmoodabad storm water drains in Karachi on urgent basis.
Work started on Mehmoodabad Drain in January 2021 while mobilization on Gujjar Drain was done on 23 March 2021. Overall plan is to dedicate these drains only for storm water while segregating sewerage water in sewerage trunks - this forms the predominant flow of these erstwhile drains.
Machike-Thallian-TaruJabba White Oil Pipeline (MTT WOP) Project
Pakistan imports 70% of its oil products (Diesel & Petrol) which are further transported throughout the country. From Karachi Port till Macheke (Shiekhupura), oil products move in a pipeline. From Machike towards North of Pakistan, all oil products move through oil tankers exposing human lives to danger. After construction of this project, FWO will complete the Pipeline Network from Karachi to Khyber. Commissioning of this project will result in less congestion on roads with safe and secure move of oil products. The project is being developed jointly with Engro Energy Limited. Project is planned to be commissioned by June 2023.
FWO has transformed itself into the premier tunnel construction company in the country. Besides constructing some tunnels along roads in KP, the pinnacle of our capability in recent times has been six tunnels made on Swat Expressway. We are constructing Tunneling Institute of Pakistan (TIP) which will not only assist in capacity building of local tunneling industry but also support FWO in planning, designing and execution of all tunneling / underground construction projects nationally and internationally.
This is a Joint Venture of FWO with a Chinese Company, Power China. The project includes construction of diversion system, main dam, an access bridge and 21 MW Tangir Hydropower Project. Diamer-Basha Dam is world's tallest Roller Compacted Concrete Dam with 8.1 MAF gross storage capacity and with power generation capacity of4500 MW. It will be completed by 2029. The project would create job opportunities for the locals while on the other hand it would be a milestone forthe country and FWO.
FWO is undertaking construction works on Dadocha Dam, located in Dhadocha Village, near Islamabad. Combined teams of FWO and Punjab Irrigation Department have started joint survey, rock classification and setting out works. FWO is determined to keep up its rich traditions in nation building works across the country.
Jagran-II Hydropower Project
A series of dams has been planned in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in a bid to overcome electricity shortage in the country. This is the second dam being constructed on Jagran River near Muzaffarabad, which will generate 48 MW electricity on completion. FWO while maintaining a professional integrity and credibility, excavated 1.88 kilometers of main headrace tunnel without even a single causality in just 215 working days. Multiple construction teams of FWO are working round the clock on weir, underground desander, tunnels / pressure shafts and powerhouse.
The project situated in North Waziristan District is a component of the Federal Government's least cost energy generation water storage development strategy. The strategy aims at improving the ratio I portion of hydel electricity in the national grid to provide relief to the people in addition to developing water storage capacity for agriculture in the country. FWO has planned to implement the project in two stages. Stage-1 includes KaituWier Irrigation & Power Component. It will develop 16,830 acres of land in addition to hydel generation of 18 MW. Benefits of Stage-I of the KurramTangi Dam have been estimated at Rs 1.5 Billion per annum.
Mineral Exploration & Development Organization (MEDO) is undertaking exploration and mining in base metals and dimension stones across Pakistan since 2015. Working on the principles of indigenization, value addition and welfare of locals, MEDO is working on Muhammad Khel Copper Mining Project (MKCMP), Nagarparkar Granite Mining Project (NGMP) - Sindh and Chipurson Metal Mining Project (CMMP) - GilgitBaltistan. Geological and Geophysical (G&G) exploration of Base Metals has been carried out in three locations of GilgitBaltistan i.e. Nazbar, District Ghizer, Chillim, District Astore and Bunji, District Gilgit.
FWO is the only Electronic Tolling Operator in Pakistan that has deployed sophisticated tolling and traffic management system across our motorways. Moving ahead, FWO is engaging with technical and engineering universities for integrating Artificial Intelligence in our soon-to-be-deployed Intelligent Transportation System. FWO has recently developed Central Network and Operations Control Center for remote monitoring and management of systems on all motorways besides deploying fiber and wireless communication infrastructure. In addition to fulfilling our own communication requirements, the organization is now looking forward to offer communication and network services as well as Electronic Tolling and Traffic Management System as services to other tolling operators in Pakistan.
Several improvements are underway which will propel FWO to the top in the hospitality sector. Modernization is not limited to our physical facilities but also include our online presence in the shape of our new website 'Marco Polo Resorts' which allows customers to make online reservations from the comfort of their homes. We are preparing feasibility reports for a number of potential sites such as MalamJabba, Naran, Kaghan, Batakundi, Lulusar Lake, Hassanabad, Nilt, Naltar, Passu, Ormara, Pishukan and KundMalir.
FWO is presently managing Construction Technical Training Institute (CTTI) at Islamabad and FWO Institute of Technical Education (FITE) at Risalpur to meet technical organizational needs as well as to impart technical training to the youth. The institutions have made tremendous contributions in socio-economic development of Pakistan through.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR)
FWO has always fulfilled its Corporate Social Responsibilities with full determination and festivity. Establishment of APS Schools & Colleges, Technical Training Institutions, Tree Plantations in different parts of the country under Clean & Green Motorways Initiative, establishment of Free Medical Camps, construction of Trauma Centres along Motorways and desalination water plants are some of the examples where FWO is contributing in nation building under CSR.
On its 56th anniversary, FWO looks forward to greater challenges and stands better equipped than ever before. During the course of 5 decades, FWO has sacrificed hundreds of precious lives by virtue of working in harsh climates and difficult terrain. Our list of achievements and national contributions increases each year and with growing expertise in almost complete spectrum of civil engineering works, FWO is humbled by its success.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022