(A) ROAD TRANSPORTATION
Road transport plays a. vital roll in the economic development through mobilization of human and material resources available in the economy of a country. It facilities trade and opens business opportunities by collecting goods from the producing centers and distributing them to different areas where they are needed. It promotes foreign trading by arranging the distribution of imported goods and collection of indigenous products to be sent abroad- it serves as a mean of creating link between the urban and rural sectors and facilitates the movement of the people all over the country. Such movements accelerate social welfare of the people and help the government in maintaining law and order within the country”: It also facilitates the arrangement for guarding the frontiers through / mobilization of defense store and personnel to the far flung border areas, ft supports and compliments the working of other transport systems. Such as rail, air and waterways which have a limitation of not being extendable to every part of a country and as such, their utility as means of mobilization of resources is very much reduced.
Again, road transport does not require a huge investment and the return of investment made in it not spread over a very long period. Above all, its maintenance cost is also comparatively very low and as such, its development, improvement and expansion can be effected easily and cheaply in comparison to other systems.
Road Transportation in Pakistan:
All the timePakistanwas created there was not much vehicular traffic on roads except bullock carts and other animal drawn carts -But today the thronged with trucks, Buses, station-wagons, jeeps, cars and motorcycles. National logistic cell established in 1978 is performing great service by transporting essential commodities to and from Karachi Port Inland.
Although road traffic is increasing rapidly, the density of the road network is still inadequate and the condition of most roads is unsatisfactory in quality, width, and separation of up and down carriageways. Slow moving carts mingle with modern vehicular traffic and accidents and traffic jams are frequent.
The main roads ofPakistanare as follows:
1. Karachi to Tortham via Lahore:
This is the longest and an important road ofPakistan. It is also known as the grand trunk road. Its length is about 1735 kilometers.
This road linksKarachiPortwith other interior parts of our country. The import and export ofAfghanistangoes through this road. All the big cities situated on this road are linked with other small towns and villages through small roads. In many regions, this road run parallel to the railway line at some places due to heavy traffic fromHyderabadtoKarachi, it has been rebuilt and is known as theSuper Highway.)This roadpasses from the following towns and cities. Karachi to Thatta, Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Rohri, RahimyarKhan,Bahawalpur,Multan,Khancwal,Sahiwal,Okara,Pattoki,Raiwind,Lahore,Gujranwala, Gujrat ,Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Nowshera, Peshawar, Torkham.
2. Karachi to Chaman via Kalat and Quetta:
This is the second largest and an important road ofPakistan. Its distance is about 834 kilometers fromKarachito Chaman. This road beginning fromKarachipassing through the remote areas ofBaluchistanProvince, reaches upto Chaman small border town near the border ofAfghanistan. The products ofAfghanistan, such as dry fruits etc. come toKarachithrough this road, requirements of rural and urban areas ofBaluchistanare fulfilled through this road.
3. Rohri to Quetta via Sukkur, Jacobabad-Sibi:
This is third important road of our country. Its distance is about 410 kilometers. This road passing through different parts ofSindhProvinceconnects various important cities ofBaluchistanProvince. The products ofBaluchistanProvinceand trade with other province are mainly performed through this road.
4. Dera Ismail Khan to Quetta via Fort Sandeman:
This is also an important road of our country. This road connects the areas of N.W.F.P .withBaluchistanProvince. This road also goes from Dera Ismail Khan toPeshawarvia Bannu and Kohat. It has strategic and economic importance. The distance from Dera Ismail Khan toQuettais 555 kilometers.
5. Super Indus Highway:
On the right bank ofIndusRiver, a oig highway is under construction. Its distance from Karachi to Peshawar will be about 1206 kilometers and it is expected that it will be completed upto 1993.This highway will connect the following cities: Karachi, Sewan Sharif, Dadu, Larkana, Shikarpur, Kashmir Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera,Ismail Khan, Bannu, Kohat and Peshawar.
Railways are the convenient and quick means of transport of/people and goods particularly heavy items, over long distances.
Pakistaninherited 8554 km. (5315 miles) of railways ,to which much addition has not been made. The extension work has hampered because of difficulties in maintaining and running the existing railways. The locomotives inPakistanwere run by coal. After the creation ofPakistancoal became a scarce commodity .Therefore,Pakistanhad to change its engines from coal to diesel which required money and time. Workshop had also to be remodeled to repair and maintain themJ Another problem was the availability of railways is switching to concrete sleepers. At some places meter gauge track has been changed into broad gauge track. Besides this, electrification of Railway track fromLahoreto Khanewal has been completed and work of electrification to Samasatta Railway track is under progress. At present, Pakistan Railways comprise of 8775 route kilometers, 907 stations and 78 train halts. Its major assets include 753 locomotives, 2339 passengers’ coaches and 34851 freight, wagons.