GUJRAT: The National Highways Authority (NHA) has launched the land acquisition for 117-kilometre long Kharian-Rawalpindi/Islamabad motorway.

Land in eight tehsils of three districts has been identified for the purpose for which the land revenue department has been asked by the NHA to start the process.

It is learnt that the administrations of Gujrat, Jhelum and Rawalpindi have notified the imposition of section 4 of the land acquisition act for the purchase of required land along the designed route of the project. The land is being acquired in Kharian and Sara-i-Alamgir tehsils of Gujrat district, Jhelum, Dina and Sohawa tehsils of Jhelum district and Gujjar Khan and Rawalpindi tehsils of Rawalpindi. The estimated cost of the project is Rs95 billion out of which Rs14 billion may be spent on the land acquisition. Eight interchanges are designed for that section of the motorway, including Sara-i-Alamgir interchange in Gujrat district, and Jhelum, Dina, Sohawa, Gujjar Khan, Mandra, Kalar Syedan and Rawat’s T Chowk interchanges.

Two service areas at the border of Sohawa and Gujjar Khan tehsils have been planned in that project.

Official sources said a Chinese firm had been engaged for the execution of the project which was currently in procurement phase and construction of the project could be launched once the tendering process was completed.

Construction work on 69-kilometre long Sambrial-Kharian section in extension of Lahore-Sialkot motorway M11, had been launched a couple of months ago near Kharian and now Kharian-Rawalpindi section of the same motorway is in the phase of land acquisition.

An NHA official said the land acquisition also included the evaluation of concrete structures, utility service lines, trees and other such things along the route of the motorway. The NHA has deputed its senior official Malik Rafaqat as a project director of Kharian-Islamabad section of motorway’s construction project. He had also served previously as the PD of Sambrial-Kharian motorway section for six months on the initial stage of land acquisition.

With the completion of Lahore-Sialkot-Islamabad motorway, the travel time between Lahore and Islamabad is expected to be reduced by an hour compared to the existing motorway between both the capital cities.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2022

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