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Hakla-DI Khan motorway will help end ‘cycle of poverty’: PM

06 Jan, 2022
PM Imran Khan laments that most of the developmental work has been done on the eastern route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor over the past few years. APP/File
PM Imran Khan laments that most of the developmental work has been done on the eastern route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor over the past few years. APP/File

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said the construction on road infrastructure like Hakla-Dera Ismail Khan motorway would help end the ‘cycle of poverty' caused by migration of skilled people from rural areas and small cities to metropolises.

“It will connect the areas, which are backward like Mianwali and DI Khan, to the main arteries of the country and ensure the economic development of the people,” he said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of Hakla (M-I) – Dear Ismail Khan Motorway worth Rs81 million in Islamabad

Hakla-DIKhan motorway has 11 interchanges, 36 bridges, 33 flyovers and 119 underpasses, according to the government plan.

The premier lamented that most of the developmental work has been done on the eastern route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor over the past few years. He further alleged that people in Balochistan and rural areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had been left behind because past leaders forgot them.

“Balochistan people’s sense of deprivation is justified as roads were never built in such a large area,” PM Imran said.

He expressed hope that the motorway, apart from reducing the travelling distance from seven hours to three hours from Islamabad to DI Khan, would also increase the living standard of the people. Moreover, he added that it would also allow the private sector to open hospitals in the small cities and far-flung areas under the Ehsaas “health system” as the government has “not much money” to build infirmaries.

Premier Imran claimed that existing road construction projects cost less as compared to similar projects in 2013, accusing the past employers of the National Highway Authority of corruption. “More roads would have been built in the past if money was not stolen,” he said.

Commending the efforts of Federal Minister for Communication Murad Saeed, the prime minister said the ministry had been among the “top three performing ministries.” He added that the NHA revenue had been doubled after steps taken against corruption – including e-tendering, besides, recovery of encroached land worth Rs5 billion.

In the next two years, PM Imran said that the country would become overall part of China’s programme as tribal areas and Balochistan would be connected to the main routes.