Chinese Railway Company Secures Deal To Make Karachi-Lahore Motorway Worth $1.46 Billion

Lahore Karachi Motorway Pakistan

China Railway Construction Corporation, a Chinese railway company, has secured a deal worth USD 1.46 billion with Pakistan government and will be constructing Karachi-Lahore Motorway. The road is going to be a joint project between the Chinese and a Pakistani company.

The Chinese company announced the details past Wednesday. China Railway 20th Bureau Group Co., a sub-unit of China Railway, won the bid to construct a 1,152km segment of the motorway along with Zahir Khan & Brothers Engineers & Constructors. The motorway will be ready in 30 months and will cost PKR 30 billion.

Also Read: The Dangers Of Driving Through Motorway M2 Salt Range

Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the construction of the motorway in March this year. In its first phase, motorway will be constructed from Karachi to Hyderabad. After that, as part of the motorway M9 project, it will stretch to Lahore. Prime Minister Sharif said last month at the inaugurating ceremony of the 2nd part of Faisalabad-Multan M4 Motorway:

“Six-lane Karachi-Lahore motorway is a mega project in the history of Pakistan which will dramatically reduce traveling cost,”

Pakistan is also currently working with China on the project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Considering there are going to be a lot of transportation activities happening through Pakistan in just a few year, Pakistan needs to strengthen its road network immediately. This new motorway will drastically reduce the traveling time across Pakistan.

Constructing the infrastructure is one thing, maintaining it for its lifetime is another. Current Pakistani road network needs some serious attention of the concerned departments and authorities as well. Also, we hope the government has learned from its experience of M2 Motorway and won’t repeat the same mistakes.

Pakistan Motorway Map

  • Zuhaib Afzal

    In other news, KLM Project is totally different from this one.

  • Faisal Iqbal

    Dear Aref, would you kindly let us know what were the mistakes during the construction of M2, from which Govt needs to learn valuable lessons?

  • aliqadri

    *** Chinese Railway Company is going to build Motorway …………… ? ***

  • § }{

    It could have been made about a 100 km shorter. It was political interference that bent the motorway so that certain friendly political centers became pathways along the way…costing us billions in construction and infinitely more in additional fuel consumption required to travel more than what would have been required. Ask any political of official involved or having studied the project.

  • Faisal Iqbal

    Sorry to say, its first time that I have heard anyone having issue with route of M2, look in my childhood traveling time from Rawalpindi/Islamabad to Sargodha used to be 6 hours (as long as Lahore), areas like Balkassar in Chakwal, Kot Momin, Bhalwal, Pindi Bhattian, used to be backwater, today just visit there and check for yourself how have these areas benefited from this allegedly longer and controversial route.

    I remember back in mid nineties, there used to be lots of hue and cry of creating the road, that was supposedly from nowhere to nowhere, too wide, not passing through densely populated areas, no way of filling the capacity for 50 years, surely a white elephant. Gentlemen if not presence for that road, nobody in Pakistan would have known the utility/benefits of closed loop road, while today its national asset, if you want to know the worth of M2, just check the amount of money FWO is paying to Govt for rehabilitation and beautification.

    These days there is lots of criticism for the sake of criticism, baseless accusations, Gents be constructive.

  • Guest

    How ZKB managed to snag more than 1000 km patch of road. It is not possible because work is broken down in pieces and many many contractors work on the same road. A single contracting firm is awarded a patch of road only 15-70 km long.

    Chinese companies are known for insane speed of infrastructure construction, Pakistani companies are also known for high productivity but work is always stopping because government officers, inspectors etc. will not give approvals unless they get their pocket share. Some people like inspectors etc. get a power trip by stopping the work.

    1152 km of highway in 30 months technically means 38.4 km per month. Which means more than 1 km per day. Is it possible? Base materials are easily available from quarries because Pakistan has very good material and very good dumper drivers. But do you think it is possible to provide the bitumen? Last time few years ago Mustafa Kamal was having a lot of construction in Karachi (only one city) and there was a shortage of bitumen in the country. Could not be import fast enough. Also, does ZKB really have enough equipment to deal with this level of construction. If not, will the JV company bring it in? Can the local truck manufacturers meet the large demand so soon? Can the shipping and customs clearance happen so quickly for such a large amount of machinery?

    30 billion for such a long highway sounds like a wrong estimate. In comparison, Wikipedia notes that Lahore Metrobus of 27km cost 29.8 billion PKR. Highway construction is much more expensive compared to urban construction because of the length involved. Definitely Lahore Metro Bus is an elevated expressway with many amenities, but highway also has tollbooths, on-ramps, off-ramps, a variety of bridges, culverts, security points, offices for traffic police and highway custodians (NHA).

    To construct it all, how many base camps would have to be established? What would they use? Brick and corrugated sheets? Or porta cabins? Can so many porta cabins be arranged so quickly?
    How much labour manpower will be required? There are a lot of people in Pakistan but how many really want to work? Is ZKB famous as a good employer? Would people want to work there?

    With this much work going on, what would be the demand of diesel?

  • Falak Zaib

    ZKB has won only one section that is from Lahore to Multan and cost is around 150 billion rupees. although the lowest bidder is FWO but since ZKB fills the pockets of mian brothers heavily which is why they won the contract. I’m the director of a construction firm. NHA Chairman himself told our MD that i’m bering pressurized by the PM to give this contract to ZKB. Most transparent tendering was carried out musharraf’s time. I wish Raheel Shareef takes over and drag this takla on the roads of islamabad and once again transparent tendering starts and every contractor gets a chance unlike today where only those contractors who give 90% of their income to mian brothers get contracts.

  • Guest again

    Hi, thank you for your comment, I have seen it quite late.

    The 150 bn PKR you mentioned is in line with the 1.46 bn USD mentioned in the article.

    Even if ZKB filled the pockets, other companies will get sublet work and make money out of it. It is a surprise that FWO came out to be the lowest bidder.

    OTOH in the contract documents it is clearly written that Employer reserves the right to employ whomever they want and to reject any Bidder’s Bid. However if ZKB gave money or any other thing, then it would be classified as corruption, as rejection of any Bidder’s Bid should solely be based on completion of Works according to quality and other standards, totally on merit.

    You wish that Raheel Shareef takes over, because you think the tender process is being corrupt at the moment. Sir, here I take the time to inform you that what you wish (military takeover) is an “act of great treason punishable by death” as per the constitution of Pakistan. Just because tender process was fair during a past military government which was also formed through an “act of great treason punishable by death”. Needless to say tender process of highway construction contract is not the only thing of national value. Constitution is the foundation of the nation and is most important. What you are wishing is shortsighted and has proven to be lethal for our national goals, please come out of the tunnel vision of your personal or company-oriented benefits only.

    If you see, similar corruption (corruption in award of infrastructure construction contracts) is present nearly everywhere viz. India, USA, Europe (see even advanced countries are not pure from the effect), Middle East. [You are director of construction company therefore you may have better knowledge than me, maybe you have overseas work experience too]. But in those countries they battle corruption on their own, using other procedures and institutions such as judiciary etc. rather than inviting the military to intervene. Military is a tool for external security threat, not for internal problems.

    I would request you to become a good citizen first and put your faith in the constitution and stop wishing for “acts of great treason punishable by death”. Specially for a well-liked and balanced-headed person of high stature such as Raheel, why would you want him to commit an “act of great treason punishable by death” for your personal gain/company gain?

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