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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pakistan Motorway Project - Lahore - Islamabad (M-2) Section. (1997-14)

Pakistan Motorway Project was originally conceived by Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, to provide a countrywide link of limited access high speed highway to bring most parts of the country together which could result in greater economic growth, commercial activity and trade with ECO countries. It was envisaged that such a system of modern roads would enable Pakistan to step into the 21St century equipped with a first rate communication system.
Pakistan Motorway Project will ultimately provide north-south link in the country joining Karachi with Torkham via Hub, Durji, Kakkar, Rato Dero, Khand Kot, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Faisalabad, Pindi Bhattian and extending upto Torkham via Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar. It will also join with another highway passing through Khuzdar and terminating at Gwadar thereby establishing a vital link for Baluchistan with the rest of the country.
Conforming to the international standards (like the Autobahn in Germany and Motorways in UK), it will be a six lane divided, limited access highway. It will provide a completely uninterrupted flow of traffic allowing access and exit only at designated interchanges.
With this plan in his mind the Prime Minister initiated and gave the go ahead for construction of the first section of the Motorway which joins Lahore with Islamabad providing major link to many remote areas. Being strategically located, it offers an excellent line of fast communications in national emergencies and natural calamities.
The first portion of Pakistan Motorway known as Lahore-Islamabad Motorway (M-2) is now being opened. This six lane facility takes off from Lahore near Faizpur and passing through the districts of Lahore, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Jhelum, Chakwal, Attock and Rawalpindi terminates at Village Nasralla near Coca Cola factory.
An agreement for the design and subsequent construction of a four lane limited access tolled Motorway between Lahore and Islamabad at the contract value of Rs. 23.467 billion, was initially -signed in December1991 with M/s Daewoo Corporation of Korea. M/s. Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation (SMEC) of Australia were appointed Consultants for reviewing the design and supervising the construction work of the Project.
Construction of the six-lane Motorway started in April 1992 but in 1993, the caretaker government decided to reduce the number of lanes to the original four allowing all the structures of the original six lane project.
In 1995, M/s Daewoo submitted a proposal to construct the six lane Motorway by providing an additional US$ 340 million loan on the same terms and conditions as of the original loan.
According to the revised plan M/s Daewoo is responsible for the construction of the six lane Motorway along with link roads on Lahore and Islamabad ends of the Motorway together with a median barrier and security fencing.
Designed speed in plain areas is 120 Kms per hour but it reduces to 100 Km per hour in rolling terrain, and 50 Km per hour in salt range area. This is because of the gradient change in the Salt Range Area where the Motorway climbs from an altitude of 200 meters to 750 meters while traversing a distance of only 15 Km. The Project has 106 bridges including 5 major river bridges at Lahore, Soan, Panead, Chenab and Jhelum rivers, 90 Box Culverts and 937 pipe culverts.
The Project has 10 Service areas, 5 on each side and provision of landscaping comprising plantation of trees and shrubs throughout the project. The Motorway will be tolled through closed system. Similarly to avert the plying of over-loaded vehicles, a series of weigh stations are being installed on various location for controlling over-loading on Highways and Motorway.
a. Lahore-Islamabad, 6 lane; 333 Km
b. Lahore- bypass, 6 lane; 17 Km
c. Lahore-link road, 4 lane; 7.5 Km
d. Islamabad link road, 4 lane; 8.5 Km
e. Flyovers; 36 Nos
f. Toll Plazas; 18 Nos
g. Interchanges; 11 Nos
10 service areas are being provided at Sukhake, Sial More, Bhera, Kallar Kahar and Chakri on either side of the Motorway at an average distance of 66 Km.
Each service area will have a mosque, restaurants, police kiosk, petrol pump, service station/ workshop, convenience/wash rooms, 4 bed first aid centre, pay phones, and general stores.
Location Distance from zero point
1. N-S Kala Shah Kaku link Km 9
2. Sheikhupura km 29
3. Pindi Bhattian Km 102
4. Kot Momin Km 145
5. Salam Chowk Km 158
6. Lilla Km 196
7. Kallar Kahar Km 224
8. Balkasar Km 248
9. Chakri Km 299
10. End Point Km 333
11. N-S Kashmir Highway link Km 341
(Contributed by National Highway Authority)
To highlight the importance of the Pakistan Motorway, the Pakistan Post Office is issuing a special postage stamp and souvenir sheet of Rs. 7/- denomination each on November 26, 1997 on the occasion of the inauguration of Lahore-Islamabad Motorway (M-2) at Bajnial near Islamabad.