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- Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - From Print Edition




The Punjab government, city district administration and Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) have come up with yet another new idea of constructing flyover from Benazir Bhutto Hospital (Chandni Chowk) to Fifth Road (Rehmanabad).


Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Sardar Nasim, who is also Chairman of Chief Minister Monitoring and Development Cell, told this scribe, that the new project aimed at overcoming traffic problem on Benazir Bhutto Road (Murree Road) would be built at a cost of Rs1.3 billion. He said the feasibility report of the project, prepared by the RDA, has been forwarded to the Punjab chief minister for reviewing and approval.


To a question about non-implementation of old mega projects for traffic control in Rawalpindi like Leh Expressway, Elevated Super Expressway from Faizabad to The Mall, Sardar Nasim said that the cost of the two projects was very high. The total cost of the Leh Expressway was about Rs22 billion when it was inaugurated and has reached to Rs40 billion if implemented now. Moreover, this project was to be funded jointly by the federal government and the Punjab government and the former did not respond positively in this regard. Similarly, the cost of the Elevated Super Expressway was also considered high and the idea has been dropped.


However, now besides constructing flyover from Benazir Hospital to Rehmanabad, the Punjab government has directed the RDA to submit feasibility report on two more projects. The first include expansion and widening of Railway bridge near Mareer Chowk or making underpass over there and the second consist, expansion and carpeting of road from Mareer Chowk to Lasania Hotel near Public Secretariat.


Further negotiations of RDA officials including Director General, Makeen Shahbaz would be held with the Secretary Railway on Tuesday for finalisation of the plan. The cost of Railway bridge project is over Rs900 million while revamping and expansion of road from Mareer Chowk to Lasania is estimated to Rs90 million.


On the directives of the Punjab chief minister, RDA is preparing feasibility report on both these projects of high nature, which would be forwarded for review and approval.


About commencement of work on these projects Sardar Nasir said it is expected that all the projects to be launched in next fiscal year.


To a question related to non-implementation of Ring Road-III project, the PML leader said that work on it is underway and RDA is preparing its feasibility report. It would be constructed from Rawat connecting different roads before touching IJ Principal Road. This project would be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs70 billion and international firms would be approached for funding it, he said.