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Another Date Given By RDA To Start Work On LEH Expressway

Another Date Given By RDA To Start Work On LEH Expressway

Rawalpindi: Despite the administrative approval accorded by the Punjab government the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has been unable to start work on the construction of the LEH Expressway Project and Flood Channel. Despite the assurance of the Punjab CM, the work on Delayed LEH Expressway Project couldn’t be started in 2021 and now the RDA authorities have given a fresh date to start the proceedings in this regard in March 2022. The 18.5-kilometer long Expressway Starting from Ammar Chowk along the Nullah Leh would culminate at IJP road near Kattarian Bridge. The Rs 55 billion projects under the public-private partnership with high-rise commercial buildings on either side of the Expressway route is reported to be a game-changer for the citizens of the twin cities as it will not only reduce traffic congestion but also boost up business activities besides creating thousands of jobs.

The project would also help control flash flooding issues in the city during heavy rains. The project might be sent to the Public-private Partnership board for approval before the issuance of tenders. It is also to be mentioned here that the transfer of Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah, the ex-commissioner Rawalpindi, has also aggravated the issue. Hafiz Muhammad Irfan, The spokesperson of RDA told that the construction work on Leh would be started in March. Once started the project run under the public-private partnership will be completed in two years' time. Initially, the length of the Project was 30 KM worth Rs 85bn but now the length has been reduced to 18.5 KM with an estimated cost down to Rs 55 Billion. There are around 1600 houses falling on either side of the Nullah that would be affected, and 1279 Kanal of land to be acquired by the executing agency.

The project includes 5 flyovers, 3 underpasses, and two interchanges. The expressway construction would also ensure an easy flow of around 100,000 kusiks of water through flood channels that would resolve the issue of flooding of Nullah Leh. Earlier the Width of the Expressway and flood channels was 35-50 meters but now it has been reduced to 25-35 meters keeping in view a reduction in cost and minimum loss to public property on either side of the project. The depth of the Flood Channel would however be increased from 8 feet to 11 feet to make up for the reduction in its width. There would be 8 story commercial buildings on either side of the expressway and the residents of the slums along Nullah Leh would be provided alternate accommodation. It is to mention here that the Leh Expressway was first initiated by the current federal minister Shaikh Rasheed during the Musharraf period in 2007 worth merely Rs 17 billion, but due to some issue or the other, the work on the project could not be started.

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