Sunday, November 24, 2019

Pakistan's Longest Motorway M5 to Boost Road Transport Sector

Recent opening of M5, Pakistan's longest access-controlled motorway, is a boost for the nation's fast-growing road transport sector. The 6-lane 392 kilometers long M5 motorway is longer than than the 375 kilometers long 6-lane M2 motorway. After M5 opening, the only missing section in planned 1,694 kilometer long 6-lane Peshawar-Karachi motorway is 296-kilometer Sukkur-Hyderabad M6 motorway. Growing network of high-speed motorways is opening up less developed parts of the country for investment, business and tourism. It is aiding agriculture, trade and commerce by moving freight and people faster.



Here's a brief overview of Pakistan's road transport sector as summarized by Karandaz research:

1. The Transport, Logistics and Communications (TLC) sector is estimated to have contributed 13.3% of GDP in 2016-17. Of this, more than 62% was contributed by the road transport sector. In 2014-15 the sector employed 3.1 million people.

2. Most traffic intensive routes are a) Karachi to Peshawar via Hyderabad-Multan-Faisalabad-Rawalpindi; b) Sukkur to Quetta; c) Karachi to Quetta via the RCD Highway; and d) N-5 National Highway segment of Multan-Lahore-Gujranwala-Rawalpindi.

3. Passengers and freight are the primary segments of road transport sector. The fastest growing freight segment is the delivery vans at 7.5% annually, while for the passenger segment it is motor cabs and taxis at 5.9% annually.

4. Road transport grew at an average rate of 6.2% annually between 1991 and 2016, faster than the average GDP growth rate 4.4% during this period. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is expected to accelerate transport sect or growth with construction of roads and other transport infrastructure.

5. Freight transport sector is highly lucrative with profit margins ranging from 21% for large trucks to 43% for rickshaws. Passenger transport sector is even more lucrative with 30% profit margin for wagons to 50% for luxury buses.

Here's a video of Uch Sharif service area on M5 Sukkur-Multan Motorway:

https://youtu.be/NC6J8YRAJS4





3 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

WEF 2019 Ranking of Pakistan Among 141 Countries (Page 447) :

http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_TheGlobalCompetitivenessReport2019.pdf


Transport Infrastructure 69/141

Road Connectivity 52

Quality of Road Infrastructure 67

Riaz Haq said...

HIGHWAYS OF HOPE
A closer look at Balochistan's roads of change
Muhammad Amir RanaUpdated Oct 06, 2019 11:22pm

https://www.dawn.com/news/1509153

Newly constructed highways in Balochistan are not only bringing connectivity to remote areas of the province. They are also boosting a process of unplanned urbanisation which is bringing about socioeconomic and political shifts within the populace and challenging stereotypes about it


The newly constructed M-8 — which connects Gwadar to the old RCD highway near Surab and passes through Turbat, Hoshab, Panjgur and Basima — had been under construction since 2007 but the project only completed in 2016 because of the security situation and fiscal difficulties. Dozens of labourers from Sindh and south Punjab lost their lives during its construction in attacks by insurgent groups.

Now that the project has finished it has created new avenues of economic activity for the inhabitants of the areas it crosses, but in a province with a long history of people being suspicious of development projects, some are still sceptical of the M-8.

Curiously, this highway is also called the CPEC highway, although it was not built by China or under the CPEC infrastructure projects; the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) constructed the highway which, through RCD highway, connects eastern Balochistan with Quetta and rest of the country.

Some locals believe this route will be used by China to transport goods and oil from Gwadar to the Xinjiang region. They fear heavy traffic will not only damage the highway but will also make commuting difficult for locals. Adding fuel to the fire, the recent heavy rains dilapidated parts of the two-year-old M-8 and locals fear that heavy containers will further deteriorate the roads. Others say that the highway is well made but, being a single road, it will get blocked or slow down public transport when a convoy of five to 10 containers will drive on it. These perceptions will only be tested when the load will come on the highway.

Locals also think that this highway has been built to facilitate trade and oil supply to China. And the neighbouring country should set up an industry, training institutions and other infrastructure alongside the road for the development of the area. These narratives appear to be a bit simplistic. The highway was planned before the CPEC and the Chinese footprints in the province. Nonetheless, these claims say a lot about the high hopes locals have pinned on the highway.

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The real estate boom in Gwadar is no more the only “success” story in the region. Turbat city is following in its footsteps. Real estate in Turbat is attracting investment from not only the Makran region, but also from other parts of the province, which has transformed the whole city and become a symbol of the urbanisation of Baloch towns.

Turbat city has grown. Turbat University’s beautiful campus on the highway and billboards of new housing societies that frequently pop up along the route tell the story of expansion of a city which has welcomed a number of inhabitants from neighbouring towns. Five degree colleges affiliated with Turbat University offer better opportunities of higher education to students in the adjoining districts of Panjgur, Gwadar and Awaran. Apart from the university, the Makran Medical College, smaller elementary colleges and other public and private educational and health institutions have made Turbat a major urban centre in Balochistan after Quetta. These facilities are not yet comparable with those in major cities of Punjab and Sindh, but they have reduced the locals’ dependence on Karachi and Quetta in terms of educational and employment opportunities.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #Railways reports record income in 2018-19. PR increased the number of rail #passengers to 70 million. PR says it recorded a 7% increase in #freight volume compared with a 4% increase in 2017-18 by introducing special container trains. #transport https://www.railjournal.com/financial/pakistan-railways-achieves-record-income-in-2018-19/#.XevzV4HDHoc.twitter

PR faced higher costs in 2018-19 of Rs 6bn due to pay increases, higher pension contributions, and rising fuel charges. Nevertheless, it managed to cut its annual deficit by Rs 4 billion from Rs 36bn in 2017-18 to Rs 32bn in 2018-19.

PR refurbished 24 passenger trains at its workshops in Lahore and Islamabad. These trains attracted around 8 million passengers and generated Rs 5bn in additional revenue. Overall, PR increased the number of rail passengers to 70 million. PR also introduced free Wi-Fi at its major stations and launched apps for the sale of tickets.

PR says it recorded a 7% increase in freight volume compared with a 4% increase in 2017-18 by introducing special container trains.

Infrastructure upgrades
During 2018-19, PR started the installation of a state-of-the-art command and control centre at its headquarters in Lahore to improve safety and operating efficiency on the network.

Under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, PR signed an agreement with China to upgrade 1872km of track on the Karachi – Peshawar main line. PR also floated tenders to upgrade the Attock – Jacobabad – Kotri, Rohri – Jacobabad – Quetta/Taftan, and Gwadar main lines.

PR claimed 155 hectares of land worth Rs 30 billion along 38km of the 43km Karachi Circular Railway from people encroaching on the line.

PR managed to reduce diesel fuel consumption by 3.5 million litres despite operating 24 additional passenger trains, and it planted 500,000 trees under the Clean and Green Pakistan campaign.

The hospitals, schools and colleges run by PR were offered to the private sector as either public private partnership (PPP) schemes or joint ventures.