RAWALPINDI: After not getting any funds from the Punjab government, the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has decided to send three projects to add to the provincial Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the fiscal year 2019-20.

The projects include the redesigning of Ammar Chowk on Airport Road, Liaquat Bagh and Marrir Chowk underpasses and a flyover on I.J. Principal Road to connect Double Road in Rawalpindi with Islamabad’s 9th Avenue.

A senior RDA official told Dawn that the previous government had allocated over Rs1.5 billion for the three projects in PSDP 2018-19 but the PTI-led government had not released the funds.

Funds allocated for these projects in PSDP 2018-19 were not released by incumbent govt

He said the projects are important to end traffic problems on Murree Road and Airport Road and that more than Rs200 million have been spent on the PC-1 of these projects.

The government has been requested but it has refused to give funds in the current fiscal year, he said, and that RDA therefore decided to include the projects in next year’s PSDP.

RDA was not able to launch even one project in the current fiscal year, he said, and that the condition of roads under the administrative control of the civic agency have gone from bad to worse due to the rains.

Another official said the government may reject these projects as it wants to spend money on Leh Expressway and the Ring Road project in which RDA will be given the role of execution agency.

He said the government also wants to initiate water projects to overcome the water shortage and that the Water and Sanitation Agency has installed more than 421 tubewells in the last 10 years. He said there is a chance that these tubewells will sink due to the lowering of the underground water table in the region.

He said the PML-N government was not interested in initiating the project for constructing underpasses at Liaquat Bagh and Marrir Chowk and that Rs1.4 billion will be required to acquire land for them.

He said so far Rs20 million has been spent on the feasibility study which is yet to be approved and that the government has asked RDA to reduce the cost of land acquisition as much as possible.

The official said the civic agency is working on the feasibility study for the flyover to connect Double Road and 9th Avenue,

He said there are chances that funds will be provided for the redesigning of Ammar Chowk as it will ease traffic congestion on Airport Road.

RDA Chairman Arif Abbasi said the civic agency had sent proposals for 18 development projects in the city for inclusion in the provincial PSDP and that these included water projects.

Mr Abbasi said the government had asked for proposal for water and sewerage schemes in the city areas and the PC-I of previously approved projects.

Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2019