RAWALPINDI, Sept 25: Work on two mega projects - 6th Road Flyover and the Institute of Urology and Kidney Transplant - started on Tuesday after Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif unveiled their plaques.
The chief minister also inaugurated the Rs3 billion Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology, which opened its outdoor patient department. However, the operation theatres and other inpatient services would start functioning with the installation of all the needed machinery by end of this year. The 248-metre-long flyover with 202-metre ramp is expected to be completed in 90 days at a cost of Rs1.017 billion. According to the plan prepared by the city district government, all traffic signals on Benazir Bhutto Road from Chandni Chowk to Stadium Road will remain closed for the next 120 days.
During this period, traffic from Saddar to Faizabad will be diverted to Chandni Chowk, National Market, Saidpur Road, I.J.P. Road and Double Road while traffic in the opposite direction would be shifted to Farooq-i-Azam Road, Kurri Road, Guywala Chowk and Chandni Chowk.
The Institute of Urology and Kidney Transplant worth Rs1.20 billion will provide free of cost facilities to the patients.
The Punjab government approved the project to construct the urology institute worth Rs2 billion at 144 kanals near Shamsabad. Earlier, the institute was to be set up at Committee Chowk but later the government selected the piece of land owned by the agriculture department and shifted the offices of soil conservation and agriculture at the site to a nearby building.
The foundation-laying functions and inauguration of the cardiology institute were followed by a public meeting organised by the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) at the lawns of the hospital which turned out to be failed show.
The party had made arrangements for more than 5,000 people but over 3,500 seats remained vacant. “The division within the ranks of the PML-N at the local level is the main reason, as other MNAs and MPAs considered it MNA Hanif Abbasi’s show, because all the projects are located in his constituency,” said an MNA belonging to the PML-N requesting not to be named.
“He (Hanif Abbasi) informed the other lawmakers about the inauguration of the projects a day before and it was difficult to gather the people,” he said and added that other people were not interested to work for Mr Abbasi.
While addressing the gathering, the chief minister said for the first time in the history of Rawalpindi, the PML-N-led provincial government had launched mega projects worth over eight billion rupees.
He urged the people to elect Nawaz Sharif and PML-N in the federal and provincial governments in the coming elections to take the country out of the current economic, energy and other crises.
The chief minister lashed out at the federal government and said it had been resorting to unnecessary electricity loadshedding in Punjab to damage its industry and agriculture.
“Ali Baba and 40 thieves sitting in Islamabad only love corruption, not the country,” he said and added that he would present himself before the people and resign if any corruption charges were proved against him.