The Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) is working on a new mega project for resolving the agonising problem of traffic congestion on busy Benazir Bhutto Road on the directives of Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif. Well-placed sources told ‘The News’ here on Thursday that the RDA following directions of the Punjab chief minister is planning to implement a project for traffic control on Benazir Bhutto Road by constructing flyovers from Benazir Bhutto Hospital to Fifth Road and from Sixth Road to Fifth Road. According to sources, the cost of the project is estimated at Rs1.5 billion, which will be completed in three years. The Punjab government has already earmarked an amount of Rs100 million for commencing work on the project under the Annual Development Plan of the RDA for the fiscal year 2011-2012.
According to sources, prior to construction work on flyovers, the RDA, in order to check traffic jams, would first work on service roads as alternative routes. The designing work has been initiated on the plan and the feasibility report would be submitted to the chief minister soon for approval. The feasibility report would be completed in a couple of months and the project would be launched during the current fiscal year. RDA Deputy Director Mohammad Umar, when contacted by ‘The News,’ confirmed that as per directives of the chief minister the RDA has started designing work on the two flyovers. He said that the project would be completed in time. When asked the RDA had announced several mega projects for traffic control in the past, but none of them had been implemented practically, he said that work on these schemes could not be initiated by the RDA because of one reason or other. However, the new traffic project would be initiated and completed in three years, he added.
Mohammad Umar said that development work in Rawalpindi worth billions of rupees had been started during the last four months, including carpeting of Rashid Minhas Road from Mareer Chowk, Benazir Bhutto Road from Naz Cinema to Mareer Chowk and Fifth Road. He said that no substandard work was carried out during carpeting of Benazir Bhutto Road and Rashid Minhas Road. The RDA, while carpeting Rashid Minhas Road, had also opened two U-turns over there, which would not choke traffic.