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LAHORE: Work on the Lahore Ring Road’s southern loop-1 and 2 (SL-1 & SL-2) has almost been completed and motorists are likely to start using it by Dec 22.

The work on the Rs24.4 billion project (9.35 km SL-I and 13.05km SL-2) was launched in June last year after the Lahore Ring Road Authority (LRRA) awarded the project to the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) on BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) basis for a period of 25 years.

Officials say since the project is likely to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif by Dec 22, it will facilitate residents of Kamahan, Asyhina, Gajumata, DHA phase-5, Sui Gas Society, HBFC Society, Punjab Society, Shanghai Road, Baidian, Kahna, Pak Arab, DHA Rahber, Lake City, Halloki, LDA City, Ferozepur Road, Raiwind Road and others.

“The SL-1 starts from section 17 of the northern loop (Sui Gas Society interchange) and ends after crossing the Ferozepur Road near Gajju Matta village. The SL-2 originates after crossing Ferozepur Road near Gajju Matta village and ends after crossing Raiwind Road near Fazaia Housing Society, Adda Plot and Lake City,” Lahore Commissioner, who also heads the LRRA as chairperson, told Dawn on Monday.

“We are trying to get the SL-1and 2 completed most probably on Dec 20. And soon after inauguration, the loops will be opened to motorists,” he added.

Southern loops-1 and 2 consist of six interchanges and six-lane carriageway, 22 bridges, 17 subways and 51 culverts along with parallel storm-water channels. The project’s contract was signed on June 22 last year.

“This project involves the highest ever component of earthwork in the history of Lahore. Our insistence on Water Bound Macadam Methodology (with a view to ensuring better quality) took more time,” says Project Director Syed Ilyas Shah.

To achieve maximum utilization of pedestrian movement and avoid vehicular and animal trespassing, subways have been introduced instead of overhead crossings. Culverts have been introduced to avoid future road cuts. Three sites for petrol pumps have been marked on the SL-1 and 2. Some oxygen pockets, which would have a huge number trees, rest areas etc were also being developed, Mr Shah added.

He said the project would also have installation of intelligent transportation system on northern & southern loops, electronic toll collection system, horticulture and landscape of southern loop, tree plantation along the road, 12 weigh stations at entry points and integration with IC3 system (Safe City Project).

The work on the Ring Road’s SL-3, which starts from Raiwind Road and ends at Multan Road, will begin soon after litigation over land acquisition issue ends. “We are prepared to launch work on SL-3 as soon as the government gives us the go-ahead,” the LRRA director said.

Ring Road’s 40km northern loop comprising 17 sections was completed in 2010 after its inauguration in 2006. The Rs32 billion NL starts from Gulshan-i-Ravi (Bund Road) and ends at Kamahan. “The 37km SL which consists of four sections will finally join the northern loop.”

Published in Dawn, December 05th, 2017