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Indus Highway Project to promote local raw material based industries.

The Indus Highway runs along the West bank of the River Indus. It traverses a distance of 1,250 kilometers from the rugged terrain of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) almost to the shores of the Arabia Sea in Sindh. This road was constructed in a piece-meal fashion, without regard standards and without visualizing the present day requirements. Over the years, the Indus Highway Project has been reviewed by the government. The Highway waywas "federalized" and declared a National Highway on July 1, 1986 under directives of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Major transport routes in Pakistan extend in a North-South direction, following the pattern of population and economic activity distribution. The Indus Highway Project is aimed at upgrading and rehabitating the existing National Highway Route N-55 as one of the main trunk roads of the country. The Government of Pakistan has planned to execute the upgrading and rehabilitation of the Indus Highway (N-55) with funds partly provided by the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund, Japan. The Project has been subjected to a Feasibility Study and Final Engineering Study, which was conducted by the government during 1987-88. The construction of the first stage, approximately 200 kilometers has been planned to commence during 1991. The scope of work of the contract 13 (Peshawar-Kohat-Karappa) includes construction of an additional carriageway between Kohat Toi and Karappa (26 kilometers) including a major realigment in the Sumar Payan Hills. The Indus Highway Project would promote better integration and national security. It would also promote international transit trade, while the project would eliminate the threat of traffic disruption caused by floods.

The project would open up underdeveloped areas having rich mineral potential and vast expenses of arable land to cultivation. It would also provide basic infrastructure for setting up of industrial units based on local raw material, such as cement plants and chemical factories. Chashma Right Bank Canal would increase the agriculture production capacity as it would irrigate almost one million acres of land. The project would facilitate speedier transit of agriculture produce.

The project would increase the capacity of the existing highway network by providing modern highways built to international standards. It would also create new job opportunities for engineers and technicians. The main objectives of National Highway Authority are to modernise, maintain and expand national highway network, as well as to help foster a sound and reliable based for transportation.
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Author:Mehdi, Ghazanfar
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Oct 1, 1991
Previous Article:Importance of textile exports in economy of Pakistan.
Next Article:Chemical industry in Pakistan.

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