ISLAMABAD: AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has said that AJK government gives utmost importance to Mansehra-Muzaffarabad-Mirpur and Mangla Expressway project as it will not only connect different districts of the state to one another but will also play a significant role in socio-economic uplift of the people.
He expressed these views after a briefing given to him on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project by the officials of Zeeruk International (Pvt) Ltd at Presidential Block of Jammu and Kashmir House in Islamabad on Friday.
The briefing was given by Ms. Ambreen Tariq, Chief Environmentalist, Mr. Muhammad Anwar, Chief Engineer Design and Mr. Abdul Shakoor, Assistant Environmentalist of Zeeruk International.
The President said that the project to be implemented under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework would not only significantly reduce travel distance between Mirpur and Muzaffarabad but would also pass through different districts of Azad Kashmir to connect them with one another.
“People from other regions of Azad Kashmir, especially southern districts Mirpur, Bhimber, Kotli and Sudhanoti take a long time to reach Muzaffarabad as the existing road network, though improved than before over the time, doesn’t provide for fast movement,” President Khan asserted.
He demanded early release of funds by the federal government for the road project that will provide modern road facilities to all parts of the country including Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier giving briefing the officials said that National Highway Authority (NHA) assigned the task of feasibility study and preliminary design for Mansehra-Muzaffarabad-Mirpur and Mangla (MMMM, N-5) expressway to M/s Zeeruk International (Pvt.) Ltd in Joint Venture with M/s Yooshin Korea.
In this regard, Environmental Impact Assessment of Mansehra, Muzzaffrabad, Mirpur, Mangla (MMMM) Expressway was carried out by the environmental compliance cell of the organization.
This Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report is prepared to conform to the requirements of Section 11 of the AJK Environmental Protection Act 2000 (AJKA), and requirements of Section 13 of the KPK Environmental Protection Act 2014 (KPKA) and Initial Environmental Examination and Environmental Impact Assessment Review Regulations, 2000.
The purpose of the proposed project is to link it with China Pakistan Economic Corridor that lies within the vicinity of AJK and KPK, they said and added that the purpose underlying the proposed project is to provide a 4-lane divided controlled access expressway connecting Muzaffarabad with Manshera Passing through Dhani Dhoondha, Masahan, Thurman and Jab villages.