ISLAMABAD -  Delay in the land acquisition for Faisalabad-Abdul Hakeem Motorway (M4) has increased the per unit cost of motorway by Rs 0.57 million per kilometer.

As per the Executive Summary of PC-I of the project, the land acquisition of M4 started in 2004 and so far only 42 percent land acquisition on Faisalabad-Gojra Section (58Km) has been completed. However, the sponsor of the project is of the view that land acquisition for the remaining 81Km will be completed by June 2017.

The revised project envisages acquisition of 3139.5 acres of land for construction of 138.832Km long Faisalabad-Abdul Hakeem, 4lane, Motorway (M-4) having Right Of Way(ROW) corridor of 100 meter. It starts at the point where M-3 ends and will connect Faisalabad to Abdul Hakeem. It traverses through districts of Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Jhang and Khanewal.

According to the comments of the economic appraisal section of the planning ministry, available with The Nation, the original PC-1 was approved for acquisition of 4863 acre of land at a cost of Rs3956.929 million for implementation period of 48 months. Now the cost of PC-1 has been increased from Rs3956.929 million to Rs4327.297 million which is Rs370.368 million or 9.4 percent higher than the approved cost. On the other hand, the scope of project has been reduced from 4863 acres to 3140 acres, which is 1723 acre less than the approved scope, the economic appraisal section of the ministry commented.

The unit cost has also been increased as Rs0.57 million per Km, the economic appraisal section said. The section asked the sponsor of the project to provide cogent reason for increase in the cost and delay in implementation period. In its comments, the transport and communication section of the planning ministry said that the project of land acquisition for 138KM Faisal Abad Abdul Hakeem Motorway M-4 was approved by Ecnec in 2007 and directed to complete the process of land acquisition within six months. Instead of meeting the time limits, the process took more than 10 years and even as of now the half of the RoW of revised length has been acquired only.

According to the PC-1, the process of acquisition of remaining portion of ROW alignment is expected to be completed by December 2017. Keeping in view the earliest pace of work, it is apprehended that project may not be completed in time and it cost is likely to increase further.

The planning commission also asked to provide the details of acquired land. Cost analysis reveals that out of Rs370.368 million increase in project cost, an amount of Rs270.170 million or 73 percent is increased on account of establishment charges. Sponsor may provide justification for 118 percent increase in establishment charges as well as inclusion of Rs141.50 million contingencies at this stage.

Ministry of communication is sponsoring agency of the project. According to the sponsor of the project, the length of the motorway was reduced by 46km due to merger of common section of alignment Khanewal to Abdul Hakeem section in Peshawar-Karachi motorway under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) .In PSDP 2016-17 Rs3050 million has been allocated for the project.