The 59 kilometers long Hazara Motorway (E-35), which is an important part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has been delayed for another three months and the delay might further escalate the cost of the project.
National Highway Authority (NHA) had revised the PC-1 of Hassanabdal-Havelian Motorway (E-35) from Rs 30.97 billion to Rs 34.37 billion after converting it to six lanes.
Project Director Mohammad Fayaz said that due to difficult terrain, the project has been delayed till March. However, he was optimistic that the project cost would not escalate.
He further said that the project initially consisted of four lanes which were later changed to six lanes. According to the initial project deadline, it was to be completed by December 2017, but to convert it to six lanes, the deadline was extended to December 2018.
Official sources revealed the remaining 12-km under-construction section of Hazara Motorway from Shah Maqsood Interchange to Havelian Interchange was expected to be opened for traffic by the end of December. However, some work still remains and the project is likely to be completed by end of March 2019.
After completion of this portion, the Motorway will become fully operational and provide a modern six-lane road facility to the people of Havelian, Abbottabad, Mansehra, and adjoining areas.
The 47-km section of the Hassanabdal-Havelian Motorway from Burhan to Shah Maqsood interchange was opened for traffic in December last year.
The 59 kilometers long 6-lane fenced Motorway is expected to reduce the drive time from Islamabad to Havelian to just 30 minutes in addition to providing a road to the Havelian Dry Port project. The project anticipates hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities, possibilities of new businesses and socio-economic uplift of the whole region.
The project was divided into three packages aimed at increasing the pace of work.
The package-1 (Burhan-Jarikas-20.3 km) was awarded to M/S China Gezhouba Group Company and Ghulam Rasool Company as a joint venture with a bid amount of Rs 7.376 billion. The package-2 (Jarikas-Sarai Saleh-19.2 km) was awarded to M/S China Gezhouba Group Company and AM Associates on JV with a bid amount of Rs 6.775 billion. Both packages were scheduled to be completed by March 2017.
The third package (Sarai Saleh-Havelian-20.02 km) was awarded to M/S Limak-ZKB (JV) with a bid amount of Rs 8.188 billion and this package was scheduled to be completed by December 2017.
The project is being funded through an Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan (90 percent of total cost) and 10 percent is being paid by the Government of Pakistan.
Burhan Interchange on Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway (M-1) is Hazara Motorway’s start point, whereas it has three sections from Hasanabdal to Jarikas, from Jarikas to Serai Saleh and from Serai Saleh to Havelian. The expressway has 44 flyovers & bridges, 29 underpasses, and 163 box culverts.