GUJRAT: The Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has formally submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Punjab government for the construction of the 16km long link road to connect the industrial city with the Sialkot-Lahore motorway (M-11).

The road from Gujranwala city up to the motorway is planned to be built as a public private partnership (PPP) project since the city has no direct expressway link to any of the motorways in the region.

Representatives of the GCCI had, some time ago, conveyed to the Punjab chief minister Usman Buzdar the willingness of chamber to invest in the link road after which the provincial government gave a green signal to the proposal.

GCCI President Umar Ashraf Mughal told Dawn that the local business community would invest a sum of around Rs6 billion on the construction of the dual and fenced carriageway while the provincial government would provide land for the project at a cost of Rs900 million.

Since the project execution had been designed as per the PPP mode, a company of Gujranwala businessmen has been registered. The company recently signed an agreement with another firm as per the legal requirement, Mr Mughal said and added, the unsolicited proposal under section (26) of the Punjab Public Private Partnership Act, 2019 had been submitted to the chief executive officer of the Punjab PPP authority on Sept 20 last.

He said that the government departments like the Planning and Development (P&D) as well as Works and Communication (C&W) had also been sent the copies of unsolicited proposal for further necessary action as the GCCI was determined to execute the project.

As per the PPP mode, the investor company may be entitled to have all the commercial rights of the project, including that of toll collection for at least 27 to 30 years as the extension project of M-11 between Sambrial-Kharian is also being executed on the PPP mode by the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) under the National Highways Authority (NHA). Federal minister Fawad Ch has also announced the inauguration of Kharian-Islamabad motorway in November which will be reduce travel time between Lahore and Islamabad by an hour.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2021

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