RAWALPINDI, Oct 12: Military authorities have sought two weeks’ time to decide whether they want to give clearance to the City District Government Rawalpindi for the construction of an underpass to connect the new judicial complex with the district courts.

The officials of the city government and the district bar association on Friday held a meeting with Brig Zaman Nasarullah Khan Niazi, the station commander, to convince the military authorities regarding the project.

The military authorities have expressed concerns over the construction of the underpass due its proximity to the Army House and other sensitive installations. Officials told Dawn that the underpass would also affect underground utility services, including telephone and natural gas lines.

Earlier, the garrison authorities had suggested constructing an overhead bridge at the road to connect the complex with the courts. But the lawyers insisted on construction of the underpass saying their senior colleagues and aged litigants would be facing difficulty in climbing the bridge.

District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar told Dawn that the meeting was held to brief the station commander about the plan and get approval from the military authorities. He said when the CDGR sent the proposal to the government to construct the underpass, it asked the local authorities to get a non-objection certificate (NoC) from the garrison authorities as the Army House was located a few yards away from the complex.

“Lawyers and over 20,000 litigants and government officials shuttling between the old district courts and the judicial complex will have to cross the busy road facing immense problems,” said Sajid Ilyas Bhatti, the president of the DBA, while talking to this reporter.

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