The proposed project will construct a 62-kilometer (km) four-lane, access-controlled motorway connecting Gojra and Shorkot in Punjab Province, and improve the institutional capacity of the National Highway Authority (NHA), particularly for managing safeguards and contracts. The project will facilitate north south connectivity, improve quality and efficiency of road transport services, and promote inclusive economic growth.
PROJECT RATIONALE AND LINKAGE TO COUNTRY/REGIONAL STRATEGY
In Pakistan, the transport sector contributes about 10% to the gross domestic product (GDP). It is estimated that 2.3 million people (about 6% of the total employed labor force of Pakistan) earn their livelihoods from this sector. Road transport dominates Pakistan's transport system, accounting for almost 96% of freight traffic in ton-kilometers and 92% of passenger traffic in passenger-kilometers. Much of the country's 12,500 km national highway network was built before the 1950s. About 75% of it consists of two-lane undivided roads of 6 7 meters (m) in width. With a growing economy fueled mainly by growth in manufacturing and a relatively high population growth, traffic demand is on the rise. However, slow-moving trucks and nonmotorized traffic, poor road conditions, and frequent truck overloading are impeding the efficiency and safety of road transport. To reduce the traffic load on the heavily used national highways, the government began in the 1990s to build high-speed, fully access-controlled national motorways with four or more lanes. To date, around 900 km of the planned 2,800 km are operational.
Pakistan's domestic investment and trade flows concentrate on one major north south transport corridor, which connects the key centers of economic activity. Comprising national highways and motorways with a total length of about 1,800 km, the corridor runs from the port city of Karachi in the south, passes through primary production and population centers such as Khanewal, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Lahore, Faisalabad, Islamabad, and Peshawar, before reaching Torkham, on the northern border with Afghanistan. The economy of the area served by the corridor accounts for 80% 85% of Pakistan's GDP. As a result of Pakistan's accession to the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program in 2010, this transport corridor now forms an integral part of the CAREC corridors 5 and 6, opening a vital trading link between landlocked Central Asian nations and the country's warm-water ports of Gwadar, Karachi, and Port Qasim on the Arabian Sea.
The motorway M-4, connecting Faisalabad with Multan, will be a part of the north south transport corridor. Its area of influence, which includes Faisalabad, Multan, and the entire Punjab Province, accounts for about 56% of the country's population and for 59% of the country's GDP. The M-4 will extend the already completed M-1, M-2, and M-3 motorways southward and shorten the distance between Multan and the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi in the north. The Faisalabad Gojra section (58 km) of the M-4 was completed in 2014 under Asian Development Bank (ADB) financing, and the Khanewal Multan section (57 km) will be completed in 2015 under financing from the Islamic Development Bank.
The proposed project will finance the construction of the 62 km Gojra Shorkot section. Achievement of its full benefits will depend on the completion of the remaining 64 km Shorkot Khanewal section, which is currently anticipated to be financed through additional financing of the project in 2016. Upon completion, the new M-4 will provide a four-lane, access-controlled alternative to the existing narrow and congested routes, notably in the heavily trafficked Faisalabad and Khanewal Multan Muzaffargarh areas.
The national highway N-5 is part of the north south transport corridor, and Pakistan's longest and most important highway. Its section between Lahore and Multan is a four-lane road through highly urbanized areas carrying an average daily traffic volume of 20,000 vehicles. Currently, the majority of long-distance traffic from Karachi to Islamabad and onward leaves the N-5 after Multan to use the local road network before reaching the M-2. These two-lane roads are unsafe, having at-grade access points from local dwellings and businesses throughout. The completed M-4 will attract most of this long-distance traffic and also divert traffic from the N-5, which will help alleviate congestion on that road. Overall, the M-4 will provide an efficient international link between the north of Pakistan and beyond, and southern Punjab, Sindh, and the ports of Karachi and Gwadar in southern Pakistan.
Vision 2025 envisages modernization of transport infrastructure and greater regional connectivity as one of the seven pillars to achieve its stated medium-term goals. The project is consistent with the strategic goals and government priorities. An enhanced north south corridor will reduce the time and cost of moving goods and people along the entire logistic and supply chain, removing one of the key constraints to raising competitiveness, attracting private sector investment, increasing productivity, as well as deepening and diversifying the industrial base, all of which are essential for providing sustainable jobs to a growing population. The project is also consistent with ADB's country partnership strategy, 2015 2019 for Pakistan and fits with ADB's Midterm Review of Strategy 2020, supports the CAREC Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy 2020, and is included in ADB's country operations business plan, 2015 2017 for Pakistan.
The investment demand to bring Pakistan transport infrastructure on a sustained growth trajectory is huge. ADB is mobilizing additional resources to complement its own and, in June 2015, secured a grant contribution of 262 million over 2015 2020 from the Government of the United Kingdom to the development of the Pakistan Economic Corridors Program. The main focus of the program is to finance strategic sections of the CAREC corridors in Pakistan, which is fully aligned with Pakistan's Vision 2025, the CAREC Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy 2020, and ADB's strategic objectives.
ADB's leading role in Pakistan's road sector development has yielded lessons: keep project designs simple; limit the number of components and implementing agencies to a manageable level; make sure that cost estimates are realistic and that sufficient counterpart funds are made available; and adopt realistic timeframes for land acquisition and resettlement of affected people. These lessons are adequately incorporated in the design of this project.
Modernization of transport infrastructure and greater regional connectivity to support a vibrant and growing economy (Pakistan Vision 2025)
Consulting services are in accordance to ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants. An estimated 699 person-months (66 for international, 633 for national) of consulting services are required for construction supervision. The construction supervision firm was engaged using the single source selection.
The project procurement classification is Category B. All procurement of works were undertaken in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines. International competitive bidding procedures were used for civil works contracts.