Economic zones excluded from RR project | The Express Tribune


RAWALPINDI:

The pre-Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has approved the equal cost-sharing between Punjab and the federal governments after the economic zone was excluded from the Ring Road project after alteration in the project design.

The cost of the project has now been reduced to Rs24 billion while the pre-CDWP approved the project at a meeting held at the ministry of the planning commission. The CDWP will give final approval to the project on Monday.

The design of the 38.8-kilometre-long Ring Road has been prepared by the NESPAK which will commence from Banth spot and culminate on Thalian Motorway Interchange. The Ring Road will have five interchanges in total.

In the original design, 45 metres long service roads on both sides and economic zones were part of the project but they have been excluded now.

The new design was presented at the pre-meeting of CDWP.

Sources said the Punjab government will provide Rs6 billion for the land acquisition for the project while the remaining Rs24 billion will be divided equally between Punjab and federal governments.

The participants of the meeting were informed that the project has been included in the Public Sector Development Programme as well.

RDA Chairman Tariq Murtaza said that the Ring Road will only serve as a bypass after the exclusion of the economic zones.

He said that they were trying to include the economic zones in the project which would create employment opportunities and shift industrial zones, goods, vegetable, and fruit markets from Islamabad and Rawalpindi besides the creation of new educational and health institutions.

The RDA chairman said the new design of Ring Road also envisaged economic zones and they would try their best to include them or else it will be a meaningless project.

Earlier, locals had expressed serious reservations over the new alignment of the Ring Road project, threatening to stage a massive protest on the inauguration day if their apprehensions were not alleviated.

According to inhabitants of four areas, including Mira Mohra, Dhaki Kalan and adjoining areas, the new alignment of the road project will deprive them of commercial and agricultural lands.

They had demanded that the route should be diverted and passed through the barren lands.

Locals including Haji Fazlur Rehman, Haji Pervez, Chaudhry Abid Mehmood, Raja Hanif Kayani, Raja Zahoor Hussain, Raja Nisar, Raja Ilyas Kayani, Raja Irfan Kayani, Raja Shabir Kayani, Raja Ehsanul Haq had announced a collective protest on the project inauguration day if their reservations were not entertained by the authorities concerned.

They had asked the Rawalpindi Division Commissioner and other officials concerned to take notice of the issue, otherwise, they will press ahead with the protest outside the parliament.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2021.




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