Tag Archives: Motorway

Infrastructure development: ‘Apparel park to be set up near motorway’

LAHORE: 

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Thursday the government was setting up a Quaid-i-Azam Apparel Park near the motorway.

He said the project was of vital importance after GSP Plus status was granted to Pakistan by the European Union. He said Chinese company Shingdong Royai had invested billions of dollars in textile and energy sectors in the Punjab and would also invest in the infrastructure at the apparel park.

The chief minister said textile sector had a major share in the country’s exports. He said now that the GSP Plus status was granted to Pakistan, the government was investing in the textile sector to increase foreign exchange earnings and generate job opportunities.

He said the Royai group would also set up a textile zone at Faisalabad Industrial Estate. He asked that the design and development of the park be expedited. He said special attention would be paid to horticulture at the park. He said the Royai group would also set up a 70 megawatt coal power plant in Quaid-i-Azam Apparel Park.

Sharif said a skill development centre would also be set up at the park. Minister for Industries Chauhdary Muhammad Shafique informed the meeting that Royai group had assured investment of two billion dollars in Faisalabad Industrial Zone.

MPA Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Planning and Development chairman, Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park board of management president were also present.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2014.


Motorway police: Bike safety rally on Pakistan Day

The National Highways and Motorways Police (NHMP) North Zone will organize a road safety motorcycle rally on 23rd March. In a press release, NHMP North Zone Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Muhammad Zubair Hashmi said that the event would be organised to remember the heroes of independence movement and to pay tribute to the founder of Pakistan.

The DIG informed that “the purpose of the rally is to sensitise the general public about the importance of safety helmets while riding and to understand the importance of Pakistan Day in our lives”.

All participants of rally will wear helmets while riding their bikes to highlight its significance. Hashmi said road users, especially students do not use safety helmets while riding, which can cause major head injuries and death in case of accidents. The Mobile Education Unit of the North Zone will organise educational road safety stalls at different places along the route.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2014.


Prompt action: Illegal entry on motorway blocked

ISLAMABAD: 

National Highways and Motorways Police (NH&MP) has blocked the illegal entry, which certain housing schemes had jointly opened on the loop of Islamabad and Peshawar Motorway (M-1) in a bid to give a boost to the valuation of their plots with the connivance of National Highway Authority (NHA).

Reliable sources said three big housing schemes adjacent to Islamabad Motorway had started to construct joint entry gates to access the motorway through proposed link road of new Benazir Bhutto International Airport in order to increase the prices of plots overnight.

Some efficient officers of the NH&MP had intimated the NHA’s authorities about the illegal construction, but the authority kept mum over it.

Meanwhile, the management of the housing schemes opened their entry/exit gates to link their projects with the motorway soon after its completion, which was very surprising for everyone.

According to documents available with Express Investigation Cell, the NH&MP expressed their great concern over the controversial entry points, which the NHA had accorded approval to without consulting them.

Taking strong exception to the development, Motorways Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Wisal  Fakhar Sultan Raja, immediately  blocked the illegal access by exercising his powers. He also intimated the NH&MP Inspector General Islamabad about the event vide a letter No NHMP-5(1)DIG(M)14/28  on January 8, a copy of which was also forwarded to the NHA chairman.

However, closure of the illegal entry has irked the owners of the housing schemes, who have started efforts to reopen entry on the plea that it is very unjustified, sources said.

A NH&MP official, on condition of anonymity, disclosed that it was not the first attempt of its kind as a similar illegal gate had also been opened last year on Motorways near Kallar Kahar on Islamabad-Lahore section (M-2).

The NH&MP SSP asked NHA general manager to close the illegal gate vide his letter No. SSP/M-2(N)2(21)13-3048 on Nov 11, 2103.

However, despite the letter, the NHA did not take any action, giving credence to speculations that they also were hand in glove with the real estate developers, source observed.

Such an impression cannot also be ruled out as any kind of construction regarding access to motorways is impossible without the permission of the NHA, which is responsible for the administration and maintenance of motorways; besides keeping check on any irregularities particularly illegal construction adjacent to the motorways, sources said.

When contacted, Motorways DIG Wisal Fakhar Sultan Raja confirmed that illegal entry to housing schemes at Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway was closed in the public and government interest soon after the development came to his knowledge.

However, neither the NHA chairman nor its member operation, who also has the charge of GM operation, could be contacted for comments despite being repeatedly called.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2014.


Busted: Motorway police seize 10kg of opium

The National Highways & Motorway Police (NHMP) foiled an attempt to smuggle 10kg of opium and arrested two suspected traffickers on the Motorway (M-1) near Burhan on Wednesday.

According to a press release issued by NHMP on Monday, a police patrolling squad was informed by Peshawar Customs Inspector Maqboolur Rehman that a suspicious white Daihatsu Charade (W-2603) was heading to Islamabad.

The NHMP increased patrolling and attempted to stop the car near Burhan. However, the driver of the car did not stop and sped away when the police party signalled for them to stop.

The police party chased down the car and recovered 10 packets of opium from hidden compartments in the car. The police arrested Naseerullah and Attaullah, both residents of Peshawar.

The two immediately confessed that they trying to smuggle the opium from Peshawar to Lahore.

Meanwhile, another police party caught a gang of criminals on the Motorway (M-2) near Sial Mor and recovered a walkie-talkie set, a 30-bore pistol with 18 bullets, three magazines, one bottle of imported liquor and different types of mobile phones from their possession.

During routine patrolling, the police saw a speeding Toyota Corolla (LWE-3501) with a blue police light. The NHMP officers signalled for the driver to stop, but were ignored.

The police chased down the car and took the occupants into custody. The nabbed men include Muhammad Akhtar, Shahzad, Farrukh Saleem, Yaqoob Masih and Parvez Masih, all from Faisalabad. They were later were handed over to the local police for further investigation.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2013.


Disaster-prone salt range: Ten perish in motorway bus crash

ISLAMABAD / KALLAR KAHAR: 

Another deadly bus accident in the salt range near Kallar Kahar occurred on Friday, when a passenger bus overturned on the motorway, killing at least ten and injuring fifteen others.

The Faisalabad-bound bus left Rawalpindi with 50 passengers onboard. While going down a steep slope, the brakes failed and the bus hit the median and jumped the divider, flipped over and slid onto the northbound section of the highway, pinning many passengers under its weight.

The police said that six people including the driver, a woman and a child, died on the spot, while six were critically injured and were rescued by cutting through the vehicle’s frame.

The motorway authorities’ initial inquiry attributed the accident to driver error leading to brake failure.

“He lost control over the bus after he put it in neutral on entering the salt range. When he applied the brakes, they failed to respond,” said a National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP) officer.

Most of the passengers belonged to Faisalabad and Jhang districts. NHMP emergency vehicles were the first to arrive at the scene. However, witnesses said that even before their arrival, passersby started shifting the injured to the nearby Chakwal District Headquarters Hospital in their private vehicles.

The police said at least two bodies were unidentifiable and that four of the critically wounded were later shifted to Rawalpindi District Headquarters Hospital. At least one of the sixteen who were shifted to Chakwal Hospital died in hospital.

Police said the accident occurred near the entrance to the salt range and not the narrow turn referred to as “229” by the police.

The 229 bend is a few metres ahead of the salt range entrance and has seen more than 200 accidents occur there, including a number of deadly ones.

The deadliest accident occurred two years ago, when a Faisalabad-bound bus overloaded with students overturned in similar fashion, killing more than thirty students and injuring several others. The Supreme Court also took note of the accident.

“The fitness certificate of this bus was valid for another year, so there was nothing mechanically wrong with the vehicle,” NHMP officials told The Express Tribune.

The police have taken multiple preventive measures in the salt range, including the placement of speed-breakers on narrow turns, to control the rising number of accidents in the area, but these measures have failed to serve as a significantly effective deterrent.

NHMP officials also record videos on all passenger busses when they enter the motorway in order to keep tabs on overloading.

The police identified six of the bodies in Chakwal District Headquarters Hospital as Mahnoor Shakeel from Sumandri, Faisalabad, Umar Ali Shah of Malhu Mor, Jhang, Iqra Shafqat, Naeem Hayat and Shahbaz Shaaban, all from Cheecha Watani, Sahiwal and the driver Muhammad Iqbal.

At least two of the bodies  in Chakwal could not be identified due to the severity of their injuries.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2013. 


Taking charge: Motorway police’s reputation to be restored

ISLAMABAD: Expressing his dissatisfaction over the performance of National Highway and Motorway Police (NHMP), newly appointed NHMP Inspector General Zulfiqar Cheema warned police officials of strict action if they failed in delivering adequate services.

While chairing a high level meeting of NHMP’s operational officers, Cheema, expressed concerns over poor patrolling standards and directed all operational officers to ensure strict enforcement of law on the motorways and national highways.

He also stated his dissatisfaction on the present situation of lane discipline on N-5, the country’s longest highway from Karachi to Torkham and directed ensuring discipline of heavy and slow moving vehicles.

Vowing to reorganise NHMP as a role model institution, he passed directions to provide complete safety and security to commuters at all times.

“The helpline service of NHMP-130 should be improved so commuters in distress can be aided in the minimum amount of time,” he instructed his staff.  He also took a serious notice of the growing number of underage drivers and directed the operational officers to restrict them on motorways and highways.

Cheema further said that patrolling standards on highways and motorways would be brought at par with international standards.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2013.