ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed is going to inaugurate Gojra-Shorkot section of Faislabad-Multan Motorway, which was initiated by the last government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in the year 2016. 

A ceremony in this regard will be held at Shorkot interchange, which would be attended by the federal minister and senior officers of National Highway Authority (NHA) and Ministry of Communications while after that, the section will be made operational for general public.

The M-4 consists of four sections, which includes 58 kilometres long Faisalabad-Gojra, 61km long Gojra-Shorkot, 64km long Shorkot-Khanewal and 45km long Khanewal-Multan section.

The Faisalabad-Gojra and Khanewal-Multan sections have already been completed and opened for traffic while work on the remaining 126kms long portions between Gojra-Shorkot and Shorkot-Khanewal was under progress.

A latest deadline of January 2019 was set for completion of said portion by NHA. However, the work on Shorkot-Khanewal section is not completed yet and according to field sources, it will take few more months in its finalisation.

But, the Gojra-Shorkot section is almost completed and it would be made operational for general public from next week. The said 61km section is further divided into two packages, which include 31km Gojra-Jamani and 30km Jumani-Shorkot.

The said packages were awarded to Chinese firms Xinjiang Beixin and China Railway First Group at the cost of Rs10.615 billion and Rs10.99 billion, respectively. The contracts were awarded in April 2016 by the PML-N’s government and it was envisioned that the same projects would be completed within two years; however, the completion date was extended later in April 2018 and given a new date of January 2019 for the completion of the project. 

The Gojra-Shorkot section, which is going to be inaugurated, includes 3 interchanges at Toba Tek Singh, Warriyamwala and Shorkot while 21 underpasses, 39 subways are also a part of the project.

The timely completion of Faislabad-Multan Motorway (M-4) project is quite necessary because it will improve Pakistan’s vital north-south road network, promote economic growth, create employment opportunities and ensure regional connectivity.

After inauguration of Gojra-Shorkot section next week, only 64km long Shorkot-Khanewal section would remain missing behind to link Multan with Faislabad via motorway.

When contacted, General Manager NHA Shoaib Khattak said that remaining work on Shorkot-Khanewal section was also underway with full pace and it would be completed in next few months.

“The asphalt base on said portion has almost completed except 10km segment of road while rest of the work is most likely to be finalised before the end of March 2019”, he said.

The completion of M-4 would link southern parts of Punjab with the north through already-established networks of motorways. The M-4 Motorway 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. It will continue on a southwest course connecting the cities, Lodhran, Bhawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Ghotki and Sukkur (with M-5 under-construction Motorway).

On the other side, sources inside the National Highway and Motorway Police (NH&MP) told this scribe that they had mobilised their logistics and it will take control of this portion soon after its inauguration.  The infrastructure development was the prime focus of PML-N’s last government and NHA was its main instrument to implement the related projects.