RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has cancelled the consultancy process for the Ring Road project after finding irregularities in it, and will seek new applications from firms.

Commissioner Joudat Ayaz on Wednesday asked the RDA’s engineering branch to finalise the advertisement for new applications from private firms for consultancy services for the Ring Road project feasibility study.

He issued the directions during his visit to assume acting charge of the office of RDA director general. He said the process of hiring a consultancy firm for the feasibility study will be carried out again to ensure transparency.

Senior official expresses concern new process may delay project

The RDA called expressions of interest from private companies in February, which 26 companies submitted. The RDA then shortlisted six companies and asked to submit their financial proposals by April 2 but some private firms that were not selected objected to the process.

After hearing their objections, the commissioner decided to carry out the process anew.

However, a senior RDA official have expressed concerns that the new process will delay the project, which will likely start by the middle of next year.

“If the consultancy firm was hired in the first week of April work on the feasibility study and PC-I preparation would end by next April, but this will delay the process,” he said.

He added that Rs10 million will be spent on the feasibility study. Previous studies will also be provided to the consultant.

He said the project will be carried out on a loan that the Punjab government and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in China have already agreed on in principle.

“The AIIB agreed to give the provincial government the loan if it acquired the land with its own resources,” he said.

The 48.5 kilometre Ring Road will begin in Channi Sher Alam and end in Palihian, near the Islamabad-Lahore Motorway.

Commissioner Ayaz on Wednesday also directed for a special committee of the RDA to be formed to make new rules for the issuance of no-objection certificates (NOC) to private housing societies to sell plots.

He said the RDA should also computerise its records and upload lists of all approved and illegal housing societies, as well as those who have applied for NOCs from the RDA, to their website to ensure transparency.

Published in Dawn, April 4th, 2019