Hazara Motorway, presently called M-15, was previously known as E35 Expressway. The road is a 118.32 km long stretch of motorway, connecting the Burhan Interchange, near Hassan Abdal in Punjab with Thakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Check out the latest update on Hazara Motorway in the video below:
The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, inaugurated the Havelian to Mansehra section of Hazara Motorway on November 18, 2019. In this blog, we will discuss the salient features of this project and how the motorway will benefit the people, especially tourists and frequent travelers going from Islamabad to Mansehra and beyond.
An Overview of Hazara Motorway
Hazara Motorway is an integral part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Hassan Abdal-Shah Maqsood section of the motorway was inaugurated on the 27th of December 2017. The other part of Hazara Motorway, which is approximately 118km long – the Havelian-Thakot section is under progress. The 39.3 km part from Havelian to Mansehra has been opened for the public for now. The 78.75 km remaining part from Mansehra to Thakot section of the motorway is expected to be completed by the end of February 2020.
The inauguration of the Havelian-Mansehra section of Hazara Motorway is a significant milestone in the development of the CPEC-related projects. Hazara Motorway is divided into 7 parts – from Burhan interchange to Haripur, Havelian, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Shinkiari, Battagram, and Thakot. The part from Burhan to Mansehra has also been completed, while the remaining portion from Mansehra to Thakot will be finalised by February 2020.
As for the Hassan Abdal to Havelian section, this will be a six-lane motorway, while the Havelian to Manshera section features has four lanes, and the part from Mansehra to Thakot, which will be completed in 2020, would be a two-lane road.
The entire Havelian to Thakot section of Hazara Motorway comprises 6 tunnels and 47 bridges. The 1.75 km long Abbottabad Shimla Hill Tunnel and Mansehra Lassan Nawab Tunnel have already been completed.
Let’s check out the salient features of Hazara Motorway and how it will benefit the local community.
Features of the Havelian-Mansehra Section of Hazara Motorway
The Havelian to Mansehra section of Hazara Motorway will hugely benefit tourism as travel time to various locations will be significantly reduced. Typically, it used to take around 6 hours from Islamabad to reach Mansehra, but after the launch of the Havelian-Mansehra section, the travel time has been reduced to just 2 hours only.
This is great news for frequent travelers. If you live in Islamabad and are planning a weekend trip to Mansehra, you can easily reach your destination in a couple of hours.
Apart from this, the motorway will also act as a major trade route and will boost bilateral and trade relations between China and Pakistan. The Karakoram Highway, also known as the National Highway 35, which extends from Hassan Abdal in Punjab to Khunjerab Pass in Gilgit, from where it touches China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, has reached its maximum capacity and can no longer be extended to accommodate more vehicles on the road.
There are ribbon developments along the highway that have already reduced the much-needed space on the road, making it difficult for heavy vehicles to pass through. Therefore, the launch of the Havelian to Mansehra section of Hazara Motorway will pave the way for better economic prosperity and will increase commercial and trade activities between the two countries.
The following are a few key features of the Havelian-Mansehra route.
- Hazara Motorway will serve as an important trade route for the CPEC
- The Motorway will reduce travel time from Islamabad to Mansehra from 6 hours to 2 hours
- It will directly benefit 7 million people living in Hassan Abdal, Haripur, Havelian, Abbottabad, Mansehra, and the northern areas
- The development of this road will further boost tourism
- This alternate route to Mansehra has been developed because an extension of N-35 wasn’t possible because of the ribbon developments along the highway
- It is estimated that approximately 10,000 vehicles will benefit from this development per day
Besides serving as an important trade route for the CPEC, Hazara Motorway will uplift the tourism sector of the country as travelers can now use the newly launched road to travel from Islamabad to northern areas of Pakistan with reduced travel times and fewer hassles. The opening of this road will also provide numerous employment opportunities to the local community.
Once the Havelian-Thakot section of Hazara Motorway is completed, it is estimated that the traffic on the road will increase to 28,000 vehicles per day. So, this was the latest update on CPEC Hazara Expressway.
If you want to know more about how China-Pakistan friendship is benefiting Pakistan’s economy, then do read our blog on What Pak-China friendship has in store for us.
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