National Highway Authority (NHA) has announced a big news for housing and commercial developers in Pakistan. A new policy has been devised specifically for those who have their projects alongside the motorways and highways. The authority has decided to allow private entities to build their own interchanges on motorways and highways across the country in order to resolve their access issues. Earlier, such projects used to fall under Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) which cannot cater to the demand due to scarcity of funds.
According to this new decision, interchanges on controlled access networks (highways, motorways) shall be built on a distance of 10 KM. Private entities like housing schemes, commercial hubs, Industrial hubs, medical cities, etc will bear all the cost of land and construction. An interchange will be built as per the design specified and approved by NHA. Private entity will provide the required land and construct the interchange using its own resources. The ownership of interchange shall be transferred to NHA and it will be managed by the authority itself.
Minimum requirement of land to be eligible for approval of interchange is 4000 kanals for a housing society, 2000 kanals for an education or medical city and 2800 kanals for an industrial or factory outlet. A private entity will have to deposit 5 million rupees as non-refundable processing fee to NHA. Additionally, certain NOC charges will apply according to the area and land use.
NHA will take 100% control of the interchange and collect toll tax without any exemption. If the cost of managing the interchange is higher than the toll collection, the private entity will pay the difference to NHA.
This decision is being regarded as a positive step to build connectivity and increase economic activity across the country. There are many housing projects in Islamabad & Rawalpindi which lie along the motorway, but only AWT Housing Scheme has been able to build their dedicated interchange so far. Many more housing projects have cropped up along M-2 over the past couple of years which have connectivity issues, therefore this big decision is being warmly welcomed in relevant circles.
This is not only about Islamabad or Rawalpindi, this policy will apply across the country. All the national highways and motorway which connect different cities are controlled by NHA, so any private project which meets the criteria and accepts the policy can apply for a dedicated interchange.
The Nation has covered this development in detail, so we have attached a copy below for our readers: