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June 14, 2021

RFP for aborted R3: Master document prepared with inputs from all Punjab depts

June 14, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Request for Proposal (RFP), called the “bible” or master document of the Rawalpindi Ring Road (R3) project, was prepared after inputs from all the relevant departments of the Punjab government.

“The RFP is always the distilled document on the basis of contributions of all the relevant departments and not an individual’s work,” a senior official explained to The News. “It listed all the features and details of the project and was presented to qualified bidders who can be likened to Chaebol of South Korea [a conglomerate of construction companies].”

On the basis of the R3 RFP, a pre-bid meeting was also held, in which15 construction firms, including the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) and three Chinese companies, participated. The RFP, copies of which are available with The News, spans three volumes, including the design of the R3.

It was prepared by the Lahore Ring Road Authority (LRRA) for the engineering, procurement, construction, finance, operations and maintenance of the ring road under design on the build, finance, operate and transfer model.

The design and financial implications of the R3 were formulated by senior engineers of NESPAK and financial experts. The document covered the project description, alignment study, civil and allied works and preliminary design reports.

It says the evaluation criteria were determined by the LRRA in collaboration with the public-private partnership (PPP) cell of the Planning & Development (P&D) Department and the Risk Management Unit (RMU) in the Punjab finance department.

The design says the proposed R3 alignment is traversing along the southern outer periphery of Rawalpindi city. The project road is limited to the southern part because not much growth is apparent towards the north and east of the city, mainly due to the presence of the hills and designated reserve forests in its north-east. The alignment originates from N-5 near the Radio Pakistan transmitters, passes through the well-known locations of Rawat–Chakbeli Road, Bahria Town, Soan River, Adiala Road, Chakri Road, Motorway (M-2), Dhok Manewal, Hakla–Dera Ismail Khan Motorway, Motorway (M-1), and terminates at G.T road (N-5) near Sangjani, Islamabad.

The document states that the R3 project configuration is a three-lane, dual carriageway facility with controlled access. The 65.3km alignment area consists of rolling/hilly terrain with thickly populated small towns, green fields/orchards on both sides.

It proposed nine interchanges, four at present and five in future, for adjoining local road terminating points to tie in with the R3. It also proposed the construction of interchanges consisting of flyover/overpasses crossing the main R3 with single lane loops and ramps for entry/exit to and from the ring road.

Design speed at loops and ramps is proposed to be 60km per hour. At some major road crossings, the R3 may overpass the crossroads. Major components include earthworks, pavement works and ancillary works.

The RFP said that the controlled area of Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) is around 311 square kilometers. In recent years, traffic congestion has been observed on all highways, internal roads in Rawalpindi city as well as in Islamabad. The traffic increased exponentially during the last few years mainly due to the rise in population, migration of people from small cities and lack of urban planning. “The RDA and Punjab government through its vision for developing infrastructure projects to make Rawalpindi a world class city, prepared the proposal for development of the R3, which will not only improve the traffic flow in the urban areas but will also benefit adjoining regions in terms of direct linkage to the motorway, trade route, time saving as well as socio economic activities, uplift of local community and surrounding areas.”

The bids were to be submitted on the full understanding and agreement of any and all terms of the RFP and the submission would be deemed as acceptance of all the terms and conditions stated in the RFP. Any bids will be construed based on the understanding that the bidder has done a complete and careful examination of the RFP and has independently verified all the information received whether written or oral from the Punjab government including its employees, personnel, agents, consultants, advisors and contractors etc.

The RFP said it is not an agreement and its sole purpose is to provide interested parties with information that may be useful to them in making their offers (bids/proposals). It includes statements which reflect various assumptions and assessments arrived at by the LRRA in relation to the R3 project. Such assumptions, assessments and statements do not purport to contain all the information that each bidder may require.

“The RFP may not be appropriate for all persons, and it is not possible for the LRRA, its employees or advisors to consider the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of each party, which reads or uses this RFP.”