ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (2 February 2019) — Pakistan’s Member of Parliament Mr. Riaz Fatyana today inaugurated the Gojra–Shorkot section of the National Motorway M4 constructed with the support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom under the Pakistan Economic Corridors Program to promote regional trade, tourism, and economic growth in the country.
ADB provided $178 million in financing for the four-lane, access-controlled 61-kilometer (km) motorway, while DFID provided $92 million in grant financing. The motorway is part of the Pakistan Economic Corridor Program to upgrade highway networks connecting the country’s southern and northern parts, helping improve road links between Pakistan and the neighboring Central Asian countries as well as the People’s Republic of China.
“The new road will unlock trade and agribusiness potential for millions of people in the Gojra, Shorkot, and adjoining area that will bring many smaller cities and towns in a more efficient transportation loop. It will also provide people better access to basic facilities including health and education,” said ADB Country Director for Pakistan Ms. Xiaohong Yang. “The new section of the motorway is a step forward in Pakistan’s expanding high quality roads to facilitate improved north-south connectivity and to help position the country as trade, tourism, and industry hubs.”
“The new motorway will provide safe and faster transport to people and ease heavy traffic on the existing roads in thickly populated areas around Shorkot,” said Head of DFID Pakistan Ms. Joanna Reid. "UKAid is pleased to be part of this important road project and we hope this will help farmers to transport their produce from farm to market faster and cheaper, improving their productivity and prosperity.”
The Faisalabad–Gojra’s 58.2 km section, which has been completed with ADB support, is now open for traffic. The opening of the Gojra–Shorkot section will further shorten travel costs and time for people and goods moving from and towards southern Punjab. Meanwhile, the 65.28 km Shorkot–Khanewal road section, which is cofinanced by ADB, DFID, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, is now under construction.
Once completed, the M4 will connect Faisalabad with Multan and ultimately will provide an efficient transport corridor link between the northern part of the country with the port cities of Karachi and Gwadar. It will also link up these cities with the existing networks of national motorways M1, M2, and M3, shortening the distance between South Punjab with central and northern urban and business centers including Lahore, Islamabad, and Peshawar.
The transport sector contributes about 10% to Pakistan’s gross domestic product. It is estimated that 2.3 million people or about 6% of the total employed labor force of Pakistan earn their livelihoods from this sector. Meanwhile, road transport also dominates the country’s transport system, accounting for almost 96% of freight traffic and 92% of passenger traffic. Much of the country's 12,500 km national highway network are old and dilapidated, impeding the efficiency and safety of road transport in Pakistan.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.