Islamabad: Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Friday took notice of alleged changes made to the alignment of the Rawalpindi Ring Road (RRR) which has increased the project cost by PKR 25 billion and gave undue advantage to some private housing schemes, according to news sources.
Reportedly, PM Khan has instructed Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Sardar Usman Buzdar to investigate the matter. Spurred to action, the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has sealed the RRR land acquisition record and suspended the land acquisition collector till the inquiry is complete.
RDA Director General (retired) Captain Abdul Sattar Issani revealed the RRR project is being launched under the supervision of the Lahore Ring Road Authority and the Project Management Unit (PMU) was working under the divisional commissioner’s control. However, he also said that RDA had the land acquisition record and was responsible for establishment of economic zones along the Ring Road, the land records of which have now been sealed.
Reportedly, the issue was discovered when a plan was made to link the road from Rawat to the motorway and from then on to Sangjani on G T Road. An RDA official stated that after this development the project is likely to be delayed till the next year.
The official also revealed that nine interchanges had been planned on the road and 500 kanals have been acquired by nine housing projects for free. Moreover, five interchanges worth PKR 7 billion are to be sponsored by housing projects located near the road – which saves government funds and created a win-win situation.
Previously, the Punjab government had issued a land acquisition award for the ring road phase-I and released PKR 6.4 billion for it. The last date for tender submission for the mega road project was April 12, which was extended by the divisional administration after the transfer of the city commissioner.