Published: Sunday 15 February 1998

Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif said the new motorway connecting Islamabad to Lahore would bring about revolutionary socio-economic changes. His comment came at a time when most road and railway experts have called the six-lane highway a "non-viable project." They say the highway would cost the national exchequer nearly Rs 4 billion per year. Furthermore, the volume of traffic expected (12,000 per day) was also way above real figures. On the first day when toll tax was imposed on vehicles, only 1,200 were counted. Given the current situation, the government would have to earn at least Rs 10 million per day to meet the stupendous annual expenditure.

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