- PM lays foundation stone for M6 Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway.
- Warns of surprise visits to see speed, quality of work.
- PTI says M6 project was approved during Imran Khan’s govt.
While laying the foundation stone for the M6 Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday vowed that he will not compromise on the quality of the work.
Addressing the foundation stone laying ceremony, PM Shehbaz also warned that he will make surprise visits to the site to see the speed and quality of the work.
“Consider it my bad or good habit I make surprise visits for projects. Will take [Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali] Shah to oversee the quality,” PM Shehbaz told the audience.
The premier also said that the project should be completed within 30 months, adding that the motorway, once completed will be beneficial for the transporters and passengers. The project is being completed under a public-private partnership agreement, he added.
The premier also highlighted that without Balochistan’s progress Pakistan will not prosper, adding that there is a need to make Gwadar port operational.
He said this project was unnecessarily delayed by the previous government.
“The coalition government is committed to bringing development and prosperity in all deprived areas of the country including Balochistan and Sindh.”
Regarding rehabilitation work for flood-affected people, the prime minister reiterated his resolve to utilise all available resources for this purpose.
Before the PM’s address, CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah deplored that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had promised that the federal government would build the Sukkur-Rohri bridge and asked him for funds for the project.
At this, PM Shehbaz told the CM that his brother, during his tenure, had announced the project and he is announcing its completion.
PTI lays claim to project
Ahead of the PM’s address, former planning minister Asad Umar congratulated the people of Sindh for the start of work on the Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway but lamented the eighth-month delay in it.
Umar said that the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) had approved the project during former prime minister Imran Khan’s tenure in 2021. He also shared that the project was approved by the Public-Private Partnership Board on March 31, 2022.
“Before this, the contractor was also selected. Now after wasting 8 months, the imported government is starting work,” tweeted Umar.
Construction agreement signed
The concession agreement for the construction of the Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway project was signed between the National Highway Authority (NHA) and the contractor in December 2021.
Under the transaction structure approved by the Public Private Partnership Board, the federal government will contribute only Rs9.5 billion over the construction period while the remaining project cost of Rs297.5 billion would be borne by the private party through equity and commercial debt.
The private party will also pay a minimum of Rs408 billion to NHA and estimated corporate taxes of Rs908 billion over the concession period. In addition, the project will be transferred to the NHA at no cost at the end of the concession period.
The motorway commonly, known as M6 motorway, is the largest project under the PPP umbrella signed in the history of the country.
The project was structured by the federal Public Private Partnership Authority (P3A) under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) mode in collaboration with the NHA.
The motorway spanning a length of 306 kilometres will comprise six lanes. Designed to be constructed as a climate-resilient project, the private party shall construct and operate the project for 25 years commencing from the date of execution of the agreement.
The project will complete the missing link of the north-south (Peshawar-Karachi) motorway network. The project is expected to bring economic benefits in terms of saving significant travel time, and travel costs, and lifting the socio-economic profile of the region.