Update (November 6, 2019): The Sukkur-Multan M-5 project has been formally inaugurated on November 5, 2019 in the 9th meeting of the Joint
Cooperation Committee (JCC) of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Furthermore, the remaining portion of the Eastern corridor from Sukkur to Hyderabad (M6) will be completed soon.
Update (October 29, 2019): The grand launch ceremony of Multan-Sukkur Motorway is expected soon. However, the toll rates have been posted on CPEC’s official FB page. Take a look at these rates.
The construction of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route is in full swing. In fact, some of the projects that come under the CPEC umbrella have been completed ahead of schedule. The recently launched Sukkur-Multan Motorway is one such example. The thoroughfare is part of the bigger Peshawar-Karachi Motorway, which is a section of a much-larger CPEC road network.
M-5 Motorway Launched Ahead Of Schedule
CPEC’s M-5 Motorway Project has been completed a month before its deadline. The original timeline spanned 36 months, but it only took 35 months to finish this section. The approval to start the 392-km long route was granted in July 2014. As it is a part of the CPEC, the government of Pakistan awarded the contract to China State Construction Engineering. It was inaugurated on May 6, 2016, and construction work started in August 2016. The completion of CPEC’s M-5 Motorway project reflects the commitment and dedication of both Pakistan and China towards the endeavour.
The cost of the Sukkur-Multan Motorway is about $2.94 billion, with most of the financing done through Chinese state-owned banks. Almost 90% of the project’s cost is financed through concessionary loans having the interest rates of 1.6% from China, and the remaining is financed by the government of Pakistan.
The Route of Sukkur-Multan Motorway Project
The original plan of having Karachi-Peshawar Motorway comprises a 6-lane highway with a total length of 1,100 km. The motorway has been designed for a speed of 120 km/per hour. Travelers taking the motorway will have to pay toll fees at different checkpoints. It will originate from Karachi through M-9 Motorway all the way to Hyderabad. And from there, for about 345 km, it will lead to Sukkur. The Sukkur-Multan M-5 Motorway, which is a 392 km-stretch, has been completed and will soon be open for public.
The route of the M-5 Motorway traverses through the following areas: Jalalpur Peerwala, near Bahawalpur, Uch Sharif, Tarinda, Iqbalabad, going towards Ubaro and Pano Aqil completing its journey at Sukkur near Rohri. The Sukkur-Multan highway comprises 54 bridges, including one major bridge on River Sutlej. The motorway has 12 service areas, set up every 65 km away, where drivers can rest a bit or have their vehicles checked. You can also eat, rest or drink at the 10 rest areas along the motorway. There are 11 interchanges, 10 flyovers, and about 426 underpasses.
Reduces travel time
The newly-constructed thoroughfare is an important part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s (CPEC) main Karachi to Lahore motorway, which will significantly reduce the travel time for motorists and travelers. Before the motorway was constructed, the time required to travel from Sukkur-Multan was about six hours. Now, the time has been almost reduced to half; so, it will only take 3.5 hours to reach Multan from Sukkur.
M-5 Motorway bringing economic benefits to residents
This news is great in boosting the economic activity especially for residents of Lahore and Sindh. The M-5 is said to be the first-ever motorway where service lanes have been constructed on both sides of the road. This will create far-reaching impact especially for the farmers. The hard-working farmers will be provided with the advantage and facility to grow their crops on either side of the road. Once the crops are ready to sell they can then quickly send them to the main market through the newly launched Sukkur-Multan Motorway.
The project has also played a significant role in the progress and development of Southern Punjab, especially in terms of job opportunities. As per the details published in a local daily, the Sukkur-Multan Motorway created around 29,000 job opportunities, 97% of which was awarded to Pakistani workers.
The Deputy General Manager of China Estate Construction, named Dung Zhao Ji, claims the motorway would offer even more economic opportunities to local residents in the future. Moreover, construction materials used to build the road were also purchased from the local markets. The motorway will also generate revenue in the form of taxes.
Tentative date for opening it to the public
The Sukkur-Multan portion of the CPEC motorway has been completed and has also been tested for any possible issues. According to recent M-5 motorway updates, the linkage and signage work has been completed. There’s been a slight delay, though, mainly due to the non-availability of the staff, which will soon be provided by the National Highway Authority (NHA), and the fact that the recruitment of the motorway police hasn’t been completed yet. The petrol pumps, fuel stations, rest areas, and service stations need some more time to be fully operational.
The tentative opening date for M-5 motorway is October 1, 2019.
Meanwhile, the construction of an interchange near Rohri is also underway, according to Dung Zhao Ji. This interchange would help enter the M-5 from Sukkur. The M-6 Motorway that will extend from the Rohri Canal to Hyderabad will soon be constructed to extend the M-5 Motorway and continue with the original plan of having the Karachi-Peshawar Motorway in the near future.
So, these were some of the recent updates on the M-5 Motorway Pakistan. If you are living in the city of lights and want to know more about its major arteries, then read our detailed piece on the best routes to get around Karachi. For more informative posts, stay tuned to the best lifestyle blog in Pakistan.
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