The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led provincial government failed to start work on development projects during the year 2021.
Of the announced eight mega projects worth Rs187.59 billion, work on only one project could be completed.
Work on Ring Road, Leh Expressway, Ghazi Brotha Water Project, Chahan Dam, Daducha Dam, Tourism Highway Express, Kachehri Chowk Double Underpass and Defence Chowk projects could not be started this year.
The estimated cost of these projects is expected to increase by 10 to 30 per cent when the work formally starts.
The government could only complete work on the Ammar Chowk underpass project in the current year. The mega project will be completed on December 31.
The Ghazi Brotha Water Project was approved in 2007 to meet the water needs of the twin cities Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
At that time, the cost of the project was estimated at Rs17 billion, which has now increased to Rs95 billion due to incessant delays. The project is expected to cost Rs100 billion if work starts in 2022.
Under this project, two 60-kilometre-long water pipelines from Ghazi Brotha to Sang Jani water tank were to be laid.
The Leh Expressway project was announced in 2007 at an estimated cost of Rs17 billion, however, work on the project could not be started.
Former Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif closed the project in 2008. Now, the estimated cost has exceeded Rs50 billion and work on the project is expected to be started in the last week of this month.
The Ring Road project costing Rs15 billion was announced in 2006. The previous government kept it in cold storage and now it is expected to cost Rs24 billion.
The Rs6.5 billion project for laying pipelines from Chahan Dam has suffered from red-tapism for the last five years.
This project is to supply water to 16 rural union councils of Rawalpindi, Dhoke Syedan, Girja, Morgha, Kotha Kalan and Dhamial.
Work on the 123-kilometre tourism highway linking four hill tehsils, Klar Syedan, Kahuta, Kotli Satyan and Murree could not be started either.
Work on district courts double underpass project and the Defence Chowk expansion project could not be started despite announcements for the last two years.
Work on the Dadhocha Dam hit the snags after a dispute surfaced with landowners.
Federal Parliamentary Secretary Sheikh Rashid Shafiq said that the expressway project had been approved. He said that the prime minister will lay the foundation stone of the project on December 25.
Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that the Ring Road project was stalled due to technical problems. He said that work on the 38.3-kilometre Ring Road project will start on December 25. It will cost Rs24 billion and will be completed in 18 months, he said.
PTI MNA Sadaqat Ali Abbasi said that the contract of the new 123-kilometre signal-free tourism highway from Rawalpindi to Azad and Kashmir had been awarded. He said that the project will cost Rs4.5 billion.
He said that Chief Minister Usman Buzdar will lay the foundation stone of the project in the last week of December.
Chairman Rawalpindi Development Authority Tariq Murtaza said that work on the Ammar Chowk project had been completed.
He said that work on the Kachehri Chowk double underpass project will start in January.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2021.