Kahutta: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while addressing the ground-breaking ceremony of the upgradation of the Rawalpindi Kahuta road on Saturday has said that Pakistan Muslim League (N) government believed in serving the masses and not in mere point-scoring, adding that PML-N has done unprecedented development works across the country.
The Prime Minister said though three major parties had governments in their provinces, yet the pace of progress and development in Punjab was far ahead. He particularly mentioned the PML-N flagship projects of Metro and Orange Line and said these showed commitment of the government towards the welfare of the masses.
The Prime Minister said initiation of work on Rawalpindi-Kahuta road was vital for the progress of this area. He said there had been no major development in the area in the past and these small cities and towns did not grow as they should have been.
He said the linkage of Motorways and expressways with those being built on the other side of River Jhelum would bring about economic activity and prosperity for the people of the area. He said initiation of the project was yet another promise, fulfilled by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the people would soon see its real impact.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi performed the ground-breaking of the Rs 12.5 billion four–lane Rawalpindi-Kahuta project Saturday, providing a fast link between the Federal Capital and Azad Jammu Kashmir.
Earlier Chairman National Highway Authority (NHA) Jawwad Rafique Malik briefed by the Prime Minister about the scope of the 28-km road and informed that construction on the strategically important link would begin soon and complete by May 2019. He also spoke about the ongoing and future projects of NHA.
He said the project would benefit a population of over two million and cater to a traffic of 14,000 vehicles per day. The average cost benefit of the road has been estimated to be Rs 4.6 billion a year over the next 25 years. The road expansion, starting from Kaak pul on the Islamabad Expressway, would include a 6 km long bypass at Sihala and a 9 km bypass at Kahuta, before linking with Azad Pattan road in Azad Jammu Kashmir.
The project would provide shortest route for traffic between Rawalakot, Kotli and twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, cutting down on transportation costs, reducing travel time, particularly for agricultural products and other perishable items. The project for dualization, rehabilitation and improvement of the 28.4 kilometre-long section has been divided in two packages.
In the first package, a 16.5km section will be built from the Kaak pul Interchange to Trikiyan. In the second package, a 11.9 km stretch from Trikiyan to Kahuta will be built. The project includes a four-lane fly-over at the Sihala railway crossing, Sihala and Kahuta bypass besides three bridges, one underpass and 50 box culverts.
The Prime Minister was informed that each 3.65 metres wide lane would have an inner shoulder of 0.6 metres and an outer shoulder of 2.5m. The road has been designed for a maximum speed in plain areas of 100kms per hour while in hilly areas it would be 80km/hr. The commuters have been demanding upgradation of the existing two-lane wide road, without any shoulder and was insufficient to accommodate the increasing traffic volume, leading to congestion and accidents.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Minister for Health Saira Afzal Tarrar, Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb and Minister for CADD Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry.