Connectivity & Freight
Transportation has been a major factor in development and prosperity of communities. It is because connectivity, accessibility and mobility, the core functionalities of any transport system have always played an important role in shaping communities. In Punjab, multiple initiatives have been undertaken within transport sector to improve connectivity and ensure accessibility of people residing in various districts. However, these initiatives could not fully transform the transport sector of Punjab into a catalyst for its socio-economic growth because of multiple reasons. A provincial road sector policy as a core component of provincial road infrastructure development is missing. There is no robust, up to date Master Plan for road sector incorporating changing socio-economic and regional interventions for the province. Lack of Road Sector Policy in conjunction with provincial Transport Policy has resulted in weak connections and long journey times due to non-integration of employment and industrial hubs with settlements. A well comprehensive solution is laid out for the road network of the Punjab by the Urban Unit that will cater the present and future transport needs of the province. All the interventions are made considering the on-going projects, CPEC and future plans of the National Highway Authority tasked with the development of the national road network. In addition, areas with potential economic growth highlighted in the economy and settlement section of the report are also considered prior to identification of proposed road corridors. The prime aim is to maximise the utility and productivity of the provincial network by ensuring and upgrading high speed connectivity to the areas which do not have direct access to the provincial network. Urban Unit has proposed an integrated multi-modal transport network consisting of roads, railways, and inland waterways, and airways, ports that will help people to access their desired activity location and will contribute effectively in economic growth of the region. Transport vision for Punjab is proposed with five main policy focus which highlights development of integrated transport network, facilitation of balanced growth, enhancement of regional and international enhancement, practices for sustainable development and promotion of safe transport.
A total of 26 corridors spanning 3,480 km have been identified after an iterative selection process. These identified corridors have been grouped into 6 categories based on the connectivity direction and purpose it fulfils. These identified links are proposed to be constructed as a new four (4) lane dual carriageway road either as a new road or by widening and dualization of the existing road. However, keeping in view, the existing road network of Punjab, the proposed links majorly involve widening and rehabilitation work rather than new construction. In most cases, low speed deteriorated secondary roads and single carriageway highways connecting major settlements are proposed to be upgraded. Also, some sections of the identified links require new constructions to avoid any significant detour. Around 2,763 km of existing road network is proposed to be widened whereas 273 km of roads is to be newly constructed.
Each proposed corridor is subjected to all three parameter to establish its phase of construction. All the corridors providing connection to the motorway and CPEC network are given priority; however, consideration is also made to adjoining cities growth. Similarly, an international gateway connection is given more preference over regional gateway. In the priority phase 2017-2027, there are thirteen (13) corridors having a collective length of 1,398 km. This phase includes seven (7) corridors spanning 1,588 km of roads. By end of Phase II, 84% of proposed corridors will be completed. Two East-West CPEC linkages i.e., C2 and C5 under this phase are vital for mitigating mobility needs of growing cities. Phase III includes six (6) proposed corridors having a total length of 494 km. Corridor C6 is proposed in this term to further strengthen the connectivity between Punjab and Baluchistan.