Locals reject new alignment of RR project | The Express Tribune


RAWALPINDI:

Locals have 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 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 announced a collective protest on the project inauguration day if their reservations were not entertained by the authorities concerned.

They 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.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Chaudhry Abid said that the residents of Mira Mohra, Dhaki Kalan Jhatta Hatyal and adjoining areas were not against the Ring Road project per se, but the new alignment will pose a huge problem for them.

He said that the government has decided to construct the road on the alignment proposed in 2017 after a corruption scandal marred the project in recent months.

He said that a huge portion of agricultural and commercial land will fall victim to the project, while they had witnessed that the affectees of the now-discarded alignment route were paid only a meagre amount in compensation.

Mehmood said that the government was conducting a survey for building an interchange at Chak Mira Mohra, which would result in a huge loss of land worth billions of rupees. He said that the inhabitants of these areas will never let it happen.

He said the locals also conveyed their objections and reservations to Rawalpindi Commissioner Gulzar Hussain Shah, who had assured them that their reservations will be forwarded to National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK).

Jhatta Hatyal Chairman Zia Mehmood and Vice-Chairman Raja Jabir Kiyani suggested that if the interchange was built at a distance of a kilometre away from the residential area, it would not only keep hundreds of houses intact but also save the agricultural lands.

The locals also appealed to the prime minister to take notice of the issue and issue appropriate orders. They said that they will also move to the courts besides staging protests to safeguard their rights.

The Rawalpindi commissioner did not respond to queries, seeking his version on the issue despite repeated attempts on the available contact numbers.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2021.




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