Rawalpindi: The Construction cost of three much-needed and long-awaited Rawalpindi Development Projects is likely to escalate by 20 to 25 percent owing to the uncontrolled double-digit inflation that has also prompted the government to revise the market rates of materials. The Senior officer of the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) told the newsmen that Remodeling of Kucheri Chowk, Leh Expressway and Flood Channel, and Ring Road if started earlier this year according to the plan, would have been completed within the approved cost but the repeated delay in the execution is increasing the cost. The sources of RDA told that the cost of inputs like iron, cement, bitumen, pipes, and other material has risen rapidly over the past few months which may lead to the revision of PC-1s of the projects. It is also informed that further delay in implementation if beyond this financial year would increase the cost yet again.
As per detail given by the RDA officials earlier the construction cost of Rawalpindi Mega Developmental Projects including Ring Road was initially approved as 3 billion which has now escalated to more than 27 billion out of skyrocketing inflation. Similarly, the cost of Leh Expressway and Nullah Channel has risen to Rs 110 billion from Rs 105 billion. The Kucheri Chowk Project that the Chairman RDA recently announced to start this month was approved to be 3.7 billion but now the cost has increased beyond Rs 4 billion. The Chairman RDA told that the Kucheri Chowk Project despite a significant increase in the cost of production would be stated very soon because of its importance for the smooth flow of traffic. He also added that the PC-1 of the project would be revised before the start of work next month. The Chairman further continued, “We are working to revise the PC-I as the provincial government revised the market rates of the construction material. The PC-I will be approved in January and soon after, the tendering process will be started. The project is likely to start in a month or two”.
Now that The Ammar Chowk Project has been completed, the government has a plan to construct Another important Project which is the main chowk of Rawalpindi namely the Kucheri Chowk Project. The execution of the project would minimize the congestion of traffic in the main city. The RDA official also informed that the civic agency also has a plan to start work on Defence Chowk Project but since Both Kucheri Chowk Project and Defence Chowk Project lie on the same Jehlum Road so the development work on both the projects cannot be started simultaneously in view of the traffic woes and worries. He said, “The garrison authorities also asked the civic body to start work on Katcheri Chowk otherwise, the movement towards General Headquarters (GHQ) of the army from Airport and Garrison Headquarter on Ammar Chowk will be affected”. It is pertinent to mention here that the incumbent administration of Rawalpindi is working round the clock to minimize the miseries of the public as envisaged by the premier.