The National Highway Authority (NHA) has completed the construction of a key link road in Balochistan to reduce distance for Gwadar-bound traffic from Punjab and other northern parts of the country.
According to a recent statement of NHA’s Member (West Zone) Shahid Ihsanullah, the Authority has completed work on the 106-kilometre-long Basima-Khuzdar Road (N-30), at a cost of Rs11.7 billion.
Shahid Ihsanullah said that currently, both light and heavy traffic is plying on the road and the Prime Minister will formally inaugurate the highway soon, he said. The road is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative, he said.
Jawad Akhtar Khokhar, a senior official at the CPEC Secretariat at the Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, told Gwadar Pro that N-30 will reduce over 100 kilometres of distance for Gwadar-bound traffic from Punjab and northern parts of Sindh by connecting the Hoshab-Sorab Highway (N-85) in Basima with the Ratodero-Gwadar Motorway (M-8) near Khuzdar.
As per the actual plan of CPEC’s Western Route, M-8 will connect Ratodero in Sindh with Gwadar. However, M-8 is under construction between Hoshab and Khuzdar; therefore, N-85 currently links Gwadar with Punjab and Sindh. N-85 was already connected with the M-8 through Karachi-Chaman Highway (N-25). However, the vehicles had to ply up to 150 kilometres from Basima to Sorab and then travel back 90 kilometres on N-25 to reach Khuzdar.
Instead, the new road provides a direct link for N-85 with M-8 by diverting traffic from Basima towards Khuzdar, he said.