The authorities have allowed two-way traffic on the downstream wing of the Indus River Bridge on the M-14 motorway, thus resolving a long-standing and pressing issue of the people by connecting Mianwali district of Punjab to Lakki Marwat district of KP province.
Residents of both districts have been calling for construction of a bridge on Indus, Pakistan’s largest river. For decades, the demand looked like a distant hope due to the complicated task and the hefty cost.
However, the downstream wing of the bridge is now open to traffic and work on the upstream wing is also near completion, said Hasnain, project director of M-14, the most-awaited component of the CPEC western alignment.
This connectivity has brought a big relief for the people of Lakki Marwat and Mianwali districts, as otherwise they had to travel more than 100 kilometres just to cross over to the other side of the Indus River, said Hidayatullah Marwat, a school principal in Lakki Marwat district.
Also, with opening of this bridge, vehicles can now ply on M-14 from Fatehjang, a town near Islamabad, to Yarik town, where the motorway culminates in D. I. Khan, said Hasnain, project director of the motorway.
Apart from an under-construction interchange at Hakla near Islamabad and a diversion near Pindigheb, the motorway is now effectively, but unofficially, open for traffic from one end to the other, he said. He informed that vehicles had started plying on four out of the five packages of the motorway, while the fifth package had still diversions on both ends.
On the other side, the migrant workers in Islamabad are awaiting completion of the M-14 motorway like no other thing. The motorway will connect the most-deprived southern parts of the country with the federal capital, which is a hub of employment for educated youth of those poverty-stricken areas of KP, Punjab and Balochistan provinces.
Islamabad has the highest number of migrant workers from southern parts of the country, and M-14 will prove as a big blessing for them, said Siftain Khan, who hails from D. I. Khan and works as overseas education consultant in Islamabad. He said that this will cut travel time between Islamabad and D. I. Khan from a thorny 8-hour-long journey to a 3-hour-long smooth and comfortable travel.
Source: China Economic Net