The executive board of national highway authority (NHA) has approved a policy according to which private entities have been allowed direct access on its controlled access road network like motorways, expressways and link roads. This policy has been approved.
Formally, Capital Smart City Islamabad the controlled access network was only accessed through Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) with approval of federal government with the acceptance of this policy, private entities like housing societies, medical cities, commercial hubs, factory outlets and theme park can now construct interchanges at motorways. However, they have to follow certain rules and conditions and would use their own resources. Moreover, this decision has received appreciation from the concerned circle to which the nation spoke. They believe that their policy escalate connectivity and generate economic activity. Although few do cast doubt, considering it a benefit to property giants.
This policy would allow the construction of interchanges on a 10km distance and the design of interchange being given and approved by NHA.
The private entities would have to request the NHA, for the NOC (No Objection Certificate) along with ownership of proscribe land on its name.
The minimum required areas to seek approval are as follows:
- 4000 kanals for housing society
- 2000 kanals for educational or medical city
- 2800 kanals for industrial or factory outlets
- 1600 kanals for theme parks
Rs 5 million is the non refundable processing fee which the entities must pay to NHA. Moreover, certain NOC charges will also be claimed. These charges would be according to their area and land use i.e.
- Rs 60,000 per kanal for housing society
- Rs 50,000 per kanal for educational or medical city
- Rs 60,000 per kanal for industries, factory outlets or theme parks
Applicants are required for the providing of land needed to build the interchange and the name of NHA. NHA’s executive board would take the final decision after submission required documents and their inspection at ROW wing.
NHA’ approved consultants will craft the traffic impact study, geometric study and highway safety audit reports but it will require the applicants. Moreover, approval would be granted only if there is no conflict for strategic reasons, road safety and smooth flow of traffic.
The NHA would own and operate the interchanges constructed with the private entities’ fund, according to police’s statement. They further declared that NHA would collect 100% of the toll tax and no one would be exempted of it. Furthermore, the cost to operate the toll plaza would cost higher than the toll collected and it would be paid by the private parties.
According to an inside sources, NHA informed that no request was delivered for approval of interchanges before the competent authority. However, approval of this policy was fueled by pressure and persuasion due to investments by influential people alongside the motorways.
In addition, a working paper has been approved by NHA’s executive board. This paper recommends an agreement with the private firm M/s CHIB Enterprises Golden Heights.
According to the recommendation, the firm stated above would be awarded a contract on a cumulative revenue sharing of Rs 56,529,942 for next 10 years with the NHA. The rent fixed for first year of lease is Rs 17,00,000 with an increase of 25% per year.