GUJRAT: The federal government has agreed to extend a dedicated link road connecting the industrial city of Gujrat with the Sambrial-Kharian motorway, an extension of the Sialkot-Lahore motorway (M-11).

A foundation stone of the project was laid by Prime Minister Imran Khan last week. In the original design of the motorway, no direct link to Gujrat was given.

Sources said Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, PML-Q leader and federal minister for water resources, raised the matter at a meeting in the presence of PM Khan. Official sources told Dawn the PM immediately approved the link road and asked federal minister for communications Murad Saeed to take steps.

To follow it up, Moonis Elahi called on Murad Saeed and it was decided to establish the Gujrat link as per the model of the Faisalabad motorway in the shape of a fenced dual carriageway. A well-placed official in the local administration said the Gujrat link to motorway was most likely to be built from Kathala Chenab point on GT Road.

He said though all five interchanges designed in the original plan of the Sambrial-Kharian motorway had to be built in the limits of Gujrat district – Jalalpur Jattan, Pero Shah, Daulat Nagar, Guliana and Kharian – they were located in rural areas far away from Gujrat city.

Sources in the PML-Q said the link road would be completed within the next two years.

The local business community says the direct link road from Gujrat may make the approach to Sialkot airport easier for those traveling all along the Lahore-Sialkot-Kharian motorway which is expected to be extended up to Rawalpindi/Islamabad via Jhelum and Mirpur (Azad Jammu and Kashmir).

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2021

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