Balochistan is the largest province as far as the
area is concerned. However, after establishment of Pakistan, this
province could not make as much progress on socioeconomic level as was
needed. The present government is desirous of rapid development
particularly in remote parts of the country. To this effect pragmatic
measures have been adopted to build a coordinated road network
throughout the country, and for that an amount of Rs. 17 billion, for
construction, extension, maintenance and improvement of national
highways has been allocated in this current budget which is an ample
proof of government's seriousness and interest in streamlining the
National Highway Authority, an attached department of
Ministry of Communications, is engaged on a number of highway projects
in Balochistan and that the Makran Coastal highway stands prominent
among them, which has recently been completed from Lyari to Gwadar by
NHA. Makran Coastal Highway has been built along the Arabian Sea and
that small ports and fish harbours like Ormara, Pasni and Jivani are
situated along this coastal belt.
The total length of the Makran Coastal Highway from
Lyari to Gwadar is 529 Kms and it is divided into three sections i.e.
Lyari-Ormara (242 Km), Ormara-Pasni (152 Km), Pasni-Gwadar (135 Km).
529 Km highway from Lyari to Gwadar has been
constructed at cost of Rs. 10 billion. However, the last portion from
Gwadar to Gabd has not yet been undertaken.
Construction of Makran Coastal Highway is a
masterpiece of engineering realized by the Pakistani experts. 63
bridges, 1,433 culverts and 4 causeways have been provided on this
Lyari-Ormara section and Pasni-Gwadar sections is
built by the Frontier Works Organization, while the middle section i.e.,
Ormara-Pasni was completed by M/s Al-Khan Construction Company, M/s A.M
Construction and M/s Sardar Muhammad Ashraf D. Balouch. The consultancy
services were obtained from the internationally reputed firms during
construction activity. LRA Group of Consultants, a consortium of Loya
Associates, Republic Engineering Corporation and A. A. Associates are
the Supervisory Consultants for Lyari-Ormara Section. The supervision
for sub-sections I, II & III of Ormara-Pasni Section has been
assigned to M/s SAMPAK, M/s A.C.C & M/s Indus Associated Consultants
respectively. Engineering Consultants International (Pvt.) LW, is the
Supervisory Consultant for Pasni-Gwadar Section. Another salient feature
of the Makran Coastal Highway is that it has been completed 4-month
ahead of schedule.
Construction of Coastal Highway was a difficult
assignment for the builders who had to face multi-faceted problems.
Provision of building material in desolate and barren areas and lack of
water were great problems besides extreme weather conditions. In such
situation completion of this highway is undoubtedly a remarkable
achievement of the NHA.
Makran Coastal Highway will provide numerous
economic, social and strategic benefits. It will also provide an
all-weather route to serve the population in entire coastal region,
besides facilitating communication, trade, fish produce and export by
linking Karachi with ports and fish harbours of Ormara, Pasni, Gwadar
With the completion of the Makran Coastal Highway,
the first phase of Gwadar Port has also been completed and has become
operational. This encouraging situation will greatly facilitate trade
traffic between Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Gulf and Central Asian
States in addition to giving boost to inland trade activity. The
development of the communication facilities in Makran Coastal area will
attract people from various parts of the country to invest and set up
industries and business enterprises. It will also provide impetus to
marketing of arts and craft, agriculture veering, marine catch and
mineral exploration. The Jinnah Naval base of Pakistan Navy having
strategic importance will also be served by this highway.
Realization of Makran Coastal Highway and that
working of Gwadar Port will cast far-reaching positive effects on the
economy of the country as well as of the whole region.
Moreover, because of scenic beauty of the coast, the
completion of this road will help develop tourism industry. There are
enchanting forests of Timer at Kulmat Hore ahead of Ormara. The Island
of Astola in open sea far from the coast of Pasni is also worth-seeing
and there is much to be discovered here. At a distance of 105 Km from
Zero-point at Agore, Shabbir Bridge has been built over River Hingole.
At 14 Km left-side of this bridge there is an old Temple of the Hindus
named "Nani's Mander". The Hindus visit this Temple once a
year. In the surrounding areas of Agore, there is much attraction for
the tourists. Ahead of Shabbir Bridge series of hills and rocks starts
which reminds you of Egyptian Civilization. The head of Sphinx, a boy
head and lady standing elegantly with hat on her head, given the name of
the "Princess of Hope" during construction of grand coastal
highway, makes you wonder who is the artist of these pieces in this
Besides Makran Coastal Highway, National Highway
Authority is also planning/implementing other highway projects in
Balochistan which also include 893 Km long Ratodero-Gawadr Motorway
(M-8), Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab highway, Kalat-Quetta-Chamman highway,
Karachi-Quetta-Chamman highway, Lakpass-Dalbandin-Taftan highway,
Sukkur-Sibbi-Quetta highway, Qila
Saifullah-Loralai-Bewata-D.G.Khan-Muzaffargarh-Multan highway and
Kuchlac-Zhob-Dera Ismail Khan highway.
All these developmental projects will link up the
internal regions of Balochistan, and establishment of trade ties with
Central Asian States via Iran and Afghanistan will put Balochistan on
the track towards economic uplift. Existence of highways will provide
easy access to the natural resources here and they will be used for
national welfare and betterment in a more proper and effective way.