Everyone knows that if you want your business to grow, you need to be well connected. Yes, you need to have contacts, but what we’re talking about is connectivity of transport. How else would you expect money to flow if you don’t open up opportunities for it to grow.
Connectivity is one of the keys to growth of an economy, and it is very important that business hubs are well connected to one another. Lahore is the largest city up north in Pakistan, with a whopping GDP of $84 Billion being contributed to the national economy. Sialkot is another business hub which is located not so far away from Lahore, and it has been contributing $13 Billion to the economy and exports worth $2.5 Billion every year.
We are all for appreciating good efforts taken by the government, and the government’s decision took an important decision in planning and expediting a more efficient connection between the these two cities and a motorway was constructed and completed back in 2018.
The commute which used to take 3.5 hours, has been reduced to 2 hours. This helps businesses flourish and open a lot of opportunities which help the economy grow. That is the good side of the story.
One thing which Pakistan still lacks is ‘finis’. When you’re making a road as important as a motorway, we expect it to be better than the built, break repair roads all over the country.
The Lahore to Islamabad motorway (M-2) was constructed back in the 90s, by a South Korean firm ‘Daewoo’. When you travel on that road, you can place a glass full of water on your dashboard and not worry about it being spilt.
On the other hand, the Lahore – Sialkot motorway is absolutely horrendous. Sure, it’s much better than the GT road which was the only option before this for travel, but when you travel on a motorway, you expect something different. All the other roads in Pakistan are quite questionable and people would always sing praises for the motorways. But the M-11 has so many bumps in the middle and the motorway isn’t even that old that it has already gone through massive repair works. This happens when you build a road faster than you’re supposed to. All the layers on the road require a settling period, after which it becomes stable enough to handle all the load bearing traffic over the years. While constructing this motorway, they clearly didn’t allow for that settling time and now the motorway is just a bumpy ride.
Are we happy that the motorway was constructed? Of course, it’s still many times better than the GT road. Are we happy with the construction quality? Well, absolutely not.