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Rupees 23.6 Billion Approved For the Revised Rawalpindi Ring Road Project

Rupees 23.6 Billion Approved For the Revised Rawalpindi Ring Road Project

LAHORE: In an earlier meeting the Leh Express Way and Ring Road Project Rawalpindi were approved but now in the latest meeting of The Punjab Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP) held under the Planning and Development Board chairman Abdullah Khan Sumbal, the construction of the revised 38 km Rawalpindi Ring Road-R3, main carriageway (MCW) from Baanth (N-5) to Thalian (M-2) at the cost of Rs23.606 billion has been approved. The planning and development board in its previous meeting had already approved the revised PC-1 of the revised project of Rawalpindi Ring Road project and the green signal for the land acquisition under the new route map has already been given to the concerned quarters.

Earlier the land worth 380 million had already been acquired under the previously planned route of the ring road, however, the reports of the malpractices by the Punjab bureaucracy and some of the PTI officials were brought to the notice of the Prime Minister and an immediate inquiry revealed that under the political influence the route of the Ring Road was extended to benefit some private housing societies lying in the area causing an extra burden of around 25 billion to the national exchequer. The high officials of the anti-corruption establishment told that no approvals of the road were sought from the concerned authorities nor any NOC demanded. “The design of the project was changed to add new interchanges and the length of the road was increased from 22 kilometers to 68kms and the last two kilometers would fall under the Islamabad Capital Territory,” the official told.

The probe into the scam also revealed that the controversial structure of the Ring Road would benefit at least 50 influential people and real estate, dealers. It was also reported that some members of the federal cabinet were also among the beneficiaries of the scandal. The district administration was immediately advised to cancel out the route and recover the amounts paid to the landowners of the said route, however, no significant recovery has been made as yet. Under the scam, the former commissioner remained under the custody of the anti-corruption department and Mr. Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari popularly known as Zulfi Bukhari had to resign from the post of special assistant to PM.

 As per the newly approved route, the 38.3-km-long new route will start from Banth near Rawat and end at Thalian near Motorway. A new price assessment will be made after the imposition of section 4 in the area to stop the people from selling and purchase of land, the official of the district government was reported to have informed in the case of Rawalpindi Ring Road Latest Udate. The official sources also informed that the newly approved route is the same as initiated by the Nawaz Sharif led government in 2014, but when the current government came at the helm of affairs, the entire route and structure of the project were changed which was canceled by the district administration in August under the serious charges of massive corruption.

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