RAWALPINDI: The Punjab government is yet to release funds for the feasibility study and detailed design of the Ring Road project to the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA).
The Planning and Development Department gave the administrative approval for the project early this month and asked the RDA to start the homework.
A senior official of the RDA told Dawn that the project’s feasibility study would take more than three to four months. The identification of land to be procured for the road would be made after the feasibility study and detailed design are prepared, he added.
Land procurement will be started after detailed design of road is prepared, official
He said the government had allocated Rs90 million for the feasibility study and design and the project would be submitted to the Planning and Development Department for final approval.
The official said the RDA had made some changes but the actual size of the road would be finalised after the detailed design was prepared. The land procurement would be made with the help of the district revenue department.
“There are some administrative problems in the new mega projects as the Punjab government has appointed the divisional commissioner as the project director ignoring the chairman of the RDA’s board of directors and its director general,” he said.
Officials of the RDA, the executing agency, would report to the divisional commissioner instead of politically appointed chairman and administrator of the organisation.
“Same administrative issue occurred in Leh Expressway project where the RDA was declared the executing agency but Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed was appointed as the focal person,” he said.
The RDA is not working on the Leh Expressway project and two months ago it sent suggestions to increase the route of the expressway from Soan River to 9th Avenue.
“At present, there is no work on development projects. The work would be started after getting funds,” he said.
When contacted, RDA Chairman Arif Abbasi said the provincial government would soon release the funds, adding work on the feasibility of the Ring Road project would start next month.
In reply to a question, he said the commissioner would be the head of the project management unit to procure land for the construction of the road.
He said the government wanted to utilise the land revenue department to purchase land from private owners and the process would be led by the administrative head of the division to make it transparent.
He said after the feasibility study, the government would announce the price of land which would be procured for the project. Mr Abbasi said a committee would be formed soon to assess the market value of land.
However, he said the government should freeze the sale and purchase of land in the area otherwise the price of the land would increase.
Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2018