Rawalpindi: The PC-1 for land acquisition for Leh Expressway Rawalpindi and flood channel worth 25billion has been sent to the Central Development Working Party ( CDWP) by the government of Punjab after its approval by the Punjab Planning and Development Board like another construction project of east-bay Expressway Gawadar Port. The district government has already started work on land acquisition under commissioner Rawalpindi who is also the Project Director. The 18 km long Expressway project alongside the Nullah Leh would not only provide an alternate route to the commuters of the twin cities but also save the residents of the cities from the havocs of heavy flooding usually during monsoon season as the expressway would be built keeping in view a flow of 100,000 cusecs of water. The proposed, Urban Regeneration Plant, and plantation of millions of trees along the water stream would also benefit the residents of the area to avail jobs as well as enjoy a better environment.
The Chief Minister of Punjab, Usman Buzdar had approved two mega projects for Rawalpindi namely, Rawalpindi Ring Road and Leh Expressway to be expedited on urgent grounds. The Work on Ring Road has been stopped after The PM himself took notice of the reported massive embezzlement in the project. The work on the Leh Expressway, however, has lingered on due to official delays and now that the groundbreaking of the project is already decided by the end of December this year, PM also Directed Punjab Govt. To Start Work On Leh Expressway Project on urgent grounds but a lot of work still needs to be completed. For instance, the environmental assessment report which is a must before launching a development project is still awaited.
An official of the Rawalpindi Development Authority told that the government wants to launch this project as early as possible but there are still some issues involved that need to be addressed on urgent grounds. The reservations of the public especially of the ones living along Nullah Leh, the official told, also need to be addressed. The official also told that the government is trying to complete the project under public-private partnership, so the project will also be sent to Public-Private Partnership Authority (P3A). He also added that the expressway would start from Kattarian Bridge instead of the earlier plan of Kashmir Highway to be the starting point of the project.
The interior minister Shaikh Rasheed who is also the pioneer of the Leh Expressway Project that the work on a long-awaited and much-needed expressway would start soon as all the preparations for the project have been finalized. He added that the government has allocated Rs 55 billion for the project's current year budget. He continued that the expressway would start from Ammar Chowk and Culminate at Pandora with highrise buildings on either side of the road. The minister also told that the project would turn out to be a game-changer for the city and would help ease traffic congestion to a great extent.