KARACHI, Pakistan: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday laid the foundation stone of first phase of Karachi-Lahore (M-9) motorway project which included the Karachi-Hyderabad motorway.
The phase from Karachi to Hyderabad will be completed at a cost of Rs36 billion in in 2.5 years.
In his address at the inauguration, the prime minister expressed resolve of the government to address the challenges of terrorism, energy and economy.
The prime minister said that it his desire to complete Karachi-Peshawar motorway during his present tenure and extend it further to Kabul. He said that he talked to the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in this regard who expressed his readiness for collaboration with Pakistan for its construction.
Nawaz Sharif said that preparatory work is underway for launching of Khunjerab-Gwadar motorway as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
The prime minister said that there is also a plan for construction of Malir Expressway, which would begin from court complex and join M-9 enabling commuters to approach the motorway in the shortest possible time.
Sharif said that resources are being mobilized for launching of Hyderabad-Sukkur portion of Karachi-Lahore motorway. He said that the Sukkur-Multan portion is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and work on this section would begin soon. He said that the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) would take up construction of Multan-Lahore section of the motorway.
The premier expressed the confidence that construction of a network of motorways would help promote national unity and solidarity.
In addition, he said that a number of projects are planned to ensure elimination of load shedding by 2017.
For this purpose, 10,000 megawatts of electricity would be added to the national grid by then. He said that 3600 MW would be generated through imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) while there are also plans for import of 4000 MW from China.
The prime minister said that steps are being taken for installation of power plants based on Thar coal.