Construction of motorways under CPEC to bring prosperity in Balochistan

by Qaswar Abbas

ISLAMABAD—- A Motorway is all set to change hundreds of thousands of people’s lives in remote districts of Southern Baluchistan including Hoshab, Awaran and Khuzdar.

Pakistan’s National Highway Authority has invited bids for Hoshab-Awaran-Khuzdar section of M-8, one of the greatest project of CPEC, which has already transformed millions of people’s lives across Pakistan.

With the construction of Hoshab-Awaran-Khuzdar section (146km), districts of Hoshab, Awaran and Khuzdar will be connected to rest of Pakistan through M-8 Motorway.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Lt. Gen (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa announced on Sunday said that the tender for the project had been opened and the project would bring prosperity in the southern areas of the Baluchistan province.

“Project would improve connectivity of Gwadar Port, and revolutionize socio-economic development of the region,” Asim Bajwa, who is also Chairman China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority, announced on Sunday.

With the construction of the motorway, long term deprivation of the local people would be addressed who were waiting for such development for decades.

It’s worth noting that the National Economic Commission of Pakistan on July 16, 2020, approved the construction of the Hoshab-Awaran-Khuzdar section of the M-8 project of 146 kilometers.

The Hoshab-awaran-khuzdar section of the M-8 project plans to construct a 146-kilometer highway from Hoshab to Awarn.

Official documents revealed that the Motorway with connect Hoshab, Qila Darwesh, Ashal, Dandar, Sahar Kalat, Gorari, Laljan, Duddar, Razai, Nurdin, Madak, Malar, Labach Dargo, and Awaran. The scope of the project also includes the relocation of public utilities and the purchase of 29,200 canals of land with a 100m right of way (ROW).

Chief Minister of Baluchistan Mr. Jam Kamal Khan said the motorway will transform lives of people of Baluchistan.

“Hoshab-Awaran-Khuzdar road section would open a great new dimension, connectivity and prosperity for Baluchistan inshallah (God willing),” Jam Kamal said.

He added that work has already started on the project.

“Work has already started on the project. Its concept, designs, consultant hiring, budget and land has been approved,” Chief Minister announced on Twitter.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor continues to change lives of people in Pakistan, especially in Baluchistan, where constructions of motorway and connecting highways.

Where the motorway and highways have given boost to business across Baluchistan by connecting the province to other parts of country, there it has ensured safe and speedy travel between major cities and towns in the province.

Business community in Southern Baluchistan believes the Motorway project will boost economic activity in the region.

“The M-8 has already given a boost to our businesses. CPEC has proved to be a blessing for the business community in Baluchistan,” Jam Amir Hussain, Macron based merchant told this correspondent over telephone.

Background interviews and research done by this correspondent revealed that construction of highways and Motorways in Baluchistan under CPEC, is providing economic opportunities to low-income groups living in vicinities across newly built Highways in Baluchistan.

The transit and resting areas along the highways have helped small businesses including agriculture and the domestic handicrafts industry to flourish.

“The Highways have kicked off economic activity in Baluchistan. These are the Highways of hope for the poor people of Baluchistan,” Sajid Baloch, Panjgur based social worker said. 

Officials in Pakistan said that the new highways in coastal and southern parts of Baluchistan were planned to improve connectivity and to boost the process of urbanization. However, they are also attracting rural populations towards their nearest cities. Panjgur and Bisma are apparently expanding alongside the highways.

Construction of the Makran Coastal Highway and M-8, have made a huge impact on the economy and socio-politics of southern Baluchistan providing direct and indirect jobs for thousands.

As network of Motorways and Highways begin to expand under CPEC, a new Baloch middle class has begun to emerge alongside these highways, significantly contributing to the process of urbanization.

“These highways and Motorways have not only increased the connectivity of the coastal region of Baluchistan but also boosted trade and business opportunities,” says Zahid Baloch, a Gwadar-based expert on Maritimes affair.

First published by Gwadar pro

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