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LAHORE: As the Ring Road’s Southern Loop-1 and 2 (SL-1 and 2) is set to be inaugurated by the chief minister on Dec 22 (tomorrow), work on SL-3 is likely to begin by the end of January next year.

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 it to the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) on BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) basis for a period of 25 years.

However, the authority couldn’t start work on SL-3 due to litigation over the issue of demolition of over 70 houses at a private residential scheme. The litigation started last year after a 30-member LRRA team faced stiff resistance from the colony’s security staff when it arrived to demolish a wall near Mohlanwal to clear way for construction. Later, the court allowed the authority to start work, but the affected parties filed an appeal and succeeded in getting a stay order.

Officials say since the matter is lying pending, the authority is likely to start civil work at litigation-free portions of the SL-3.

“We are planning to initiate construction work by end of next month since all arrangements have been made,” a senior official concerned told Dawn on Wednesday.

The Rs8bn Ring Road SL-3 will start from Adda Plot (Raiwind Road) and end at Maraka after crossing Multan Road. The land acquired [for SL-3] has already been transferred to the provincial government. Similarly, a known local company [being lowest bidder] has been shortlisted for completing the SL-3. “Only letter of project award is to be issued to the company and the remaining preparatory work has been completed,” the official adds.

He says construction may be launched from Adda Plot to the spot of area under litigation. Similarly from other side, work may be started from Maraka to the point of land under litigation. “We are sure that the court wouldn’t prolong the stay since the land has been acquired as per the law. We have [even] deposited cost of the land where over 70 houses were completed.”

“If the court decided against us, we will move the Supreme Court,” he says.

Talking about the remaining ring road’s sections, he says after completion of SL-3, work on SL-4 and western loop will be launched. SL-4 will start from Maraka (Multan Road) and end near the Ravi. After this, the western loop will start passing along the Ravi and end at Motorway (M2) near bridge on the river.

Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2017