The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has joined hands with the Rawalpindi Metropolitan Corporation (RMC) to revamp the old city area of the garrison city.
RMC in collaboration with UNDP has prepared the project concept (PC-I) for the urban regeneration project of historic areas of Rawalpindi.
According to the PC-I , the project to uplift ancient areas of Rawalpindi including Sarafa Bazaar and Bohar Bazaar will cost Rs73.10 million.
Under the project, authorities will move all utility cables underground. Moreover, they will remove all poles to give the area a clean look.
All stakeholders including Islamabad Electric Supply Company (ISECO), Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), and private telecom services have agreed to removing their cables and putting these underground.
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Moreover, relevant departments will repair the front of all buildings in the area. Moreover, they will be repainted by the government without charging anything from the local inhabitants. These structures date back to the days of British rule while some were still there when the Sikhs ruled Punjab and the present day Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Sarafa Bazaar and Bohar Bazaar are the oldest areas of Rawalpindi city. Besides, these areas have the quality of being residential and commercial at the same time. All buildings in the area are over a century old. However, most of them are in use due to their strong infrastructure.
According to officials, the buildings, with shops on the ground floor and homes on the above, are home to families living there before the creation of Pakistan.
These people are not ready to leave their homes which their ancestors built or purchased.
RMC urban regeneration project would include rehabilitation of both areas while maintaining antiquity. Authorities will redevelop these areas such that they reflect their historic values.
URBAN REGENERATION PROJECT UNDER UNDP
Meanwhile, the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) under the Urban Regeneration Project (URP) project has decided to give commercial status to the residential buildings falling in the remits of the project.
RDA will make amendments in the building by-laws. Therefore, to commercialize the residential buildings of the old city areas targeted for the URP. Hence, significantly increasing the value of properties in the area, RDA Chairman Tariq Mahmood Murtaza told the sources. He added that the owners of these properties will be able to sell their properties at a much higher rate.
He also said that we have already started work on the project. Moreover, soon it will start reaping benefits along with creation of new opportunities for employment and business activities.
Murtaza said that the project aims to highlight Rawalpindi’s cultural heritage.
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