Lahore: The Punjab government has finally given administrative approval to the Two Long-Awaited Development Projects Of Rawalpindi namely Rawalpindi Ring Road And Leh Expressway Projects, along with Flood Channel. The final approval worth Rs 48.4 billion has officially entitled the concerned authorities to start the process of tendering and bidding. The Punjab government has already given a nod to the acquisition of land for both projects. The execution of the two projects is however conditioned to the clearance by the Environment Impact Assessment. The 18.5 KM Leh Expressway along Nullah Leh and the 32 KM Ring Road would give a new direction to transportation and sewerage management in Rawalpindi.
A senior official of Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) told that the government has already granted administrative approval of Land Acquisition For RRR And LEH Expressway worth 24.9 billion. An official of the Punjab government told,“ The administrative approval is the last approval that legally allows the public sector departments/authorities and autonomous bodies to launch bidding, award tenders and complete the projects”. He added under the condition of anonymity, “The AA for the Rawalpindi Ring Road consists of the entire costs/estimates (land acquisition, civil works, etc) while it is limited to land acquisition cost for the Lai Expressway alone since this mega scheme is to be implemented under a public-private partnership that means the contractor/firm would be liable to spend money on construction of the project on its own and recover the same (with profit) within a certain period as agreed upon between the parties through toll collection.”
The letter issued by the Punjab Government in this regard states, “Following the approval from ECNEC on Dec 22, 2021, and a go-ahead from the P&D board, the government is pleased to accord AA to 38.30km long Rawalpindi Ring Road (R-3) for over Rs23.6bn subject to an assurance from the planning commission to fund the construction of additional lanes on M-1/M-2 as and when required”. The official of the Punjab government revealed that the government has directed the concerned departments to start the bidding process and launch civil work on both projects on urgent grounds. It is to be mentioned here that the RDA has already issued notices for the evacuation of land on the routes of both the projects to the owners of land and buildings. Out of a total amount of 24.9 billion for land acquisition Rs 16 billion is allocated for land acquisition around 6 billion for relocation of houses and a few million for other purposes. It is pertinent to mention here that the completion of the two projects will also minimize the traffic pressure on Murree Road, Peshawer Road, and Airport Road.