The Punjab cabinet approved the transfer of the Rawalpindi Ring Road project from the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) to the Lahore Ring Road Authority (LRRA).
Earlier in March 2020, the provincial cabinet had taken the project from RDA and given it to LRRA citing ‘capacity constraints’ of the authority. The government again handed over this mega project to RDA in June 2020. And now, the Punjab cabinet has made LRRA the executing agency again.
RDA initiated The Ring Road project in 1991. However, could not be executed for a long time. The objective to construct the ring road is to improve economic connectivity. Moreover, increase road transport efficiency in the twin cities, Rawalpindi-Islamabad.
Confirming the development in the provincial capital, Lahore, RDA Chairman Tariq Murtaza said, we would refer the matter to the Punjab Assembly for final approval. Notably, the Act that empowers LRRA over the entire province did not include Rawalpindi Ring Road Authority (RRRA). However, the provincial cabinet has now given approval of it.
DESIGN OF RING ROAD
Meanwhile, the design of Rawalpindi Ring Road prepared by the consultancy firm Zurich International is under review by NESPAK. Authorities have de-notified some 200 Kanals-long alignment route. Whereas, they will include an equal land area in the new alignment.
Murtaza said that we would give the approval of the completion of the Ring Road under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode in the meeting of Punjab Private Public Partnership Board on January 15.
At present, RDA is the executive agency of the mega road project. However, it has prepared recommendations on the alignment of 65 kilometers (kms) long route. Simultaneously, there would be nine overhead bridges, economic zones, and other facilities.
He further said that all the hurdles impeding the Ring Road project have been removed. In addition, we have completed the preparations for laying its foundation in the first week of March. After the groundbreaking, we will issue the tender for the Ring Road project.
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Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar would lay the foundation of the project deemed as a game-changer for Rawalpindi.
Authorities will also announce a public gathering to mark the groundbreaking ceremony. The project is expected to create 100,000 jobs while the construction of the industrial zone would start in April-May.
RING ROAD: INTERCHANGES AND ECONOMIC ZONE
In this regard, RDA Chairman Tariq Murtaza said that we will issue the work order for the project before the foundation-laying ceremony. He added that we will build 65 kms long signals-free corridor under PPP mode.
RDA chairman, said that there would be eight interchanges and 10 industrial zones along the road. The roads will have six-lanes.
The government would also plant 360,000 trees along Ring Road to mitigate environmental pollution. While they will also install computerized signals.
The construction of parks along service roads and the installation of benches is also part of the project.
Murtaza told that the establishment of a transport stand near Rawat along with fruit and vegetable markets would also be done.
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