Construction work on a much-needed bridge over the Indus River to link Layyah and Taunsa, two major cities in southern Punjab would start soon. National Highway Authority (NHA) is constructing a four-lane bridge and last date for submission of bid is July 20. A source in the NHA said that the estimated cost of the Package I- Major Bridge on River Indus is Rs 2.5 billion as two-lane approach roads and training works are also part of the project.
The NHA completed the detailed designing of the project early this year. Rs 7 billion project has been funded by Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), he said. The project site is located in between Layyah, east bank of the Indus River, and Taunsa, the west bank of the river. The official said that due to the absence of a proper river-crossing between the two cities, the only two links available are DI Khan-Darya Khan Bridge located 88km upstream of the project’s proposed site and Taunsa Barrage located 52km downstream of it.
The residents of both the cities are facing immense difficulties as they have to travel over 110km by road from Layyah to Taunsa or vice versa. The official said that a direct route through the bridge would help reduce the distance between the two cities by up to 50km – from 120km through Taunsa Barrage currently. He said after the construction of this bridge,the flow of traffic from east to west would also be facilitated by providing a link between N-55 (North-South Corridor) and Peshawar-Karachi Motorway. The west bank of the Indus River, which is Taunsa, would also be connected with the provincial road network on the east side of the Indus.