LAHORE: The construction work on five mega development projects worth over Rs20.5 billion is likely to begin in the provincial capital by the end of next month, as preparations related to qualification of contractors, bidding process, award of contracts, transfer of funds etc are underway these days.
The projects proposed to be launched soon included construction of a flyover at Sheranwala Gate, an underpass at Ghulab Devi Hospital and additional lanes on the Lahore Bridge (Ferozepur Road), a flyover at Shahkam Chowk, construction of five underpasses on The Mall, and resolving traffic congestion at Barkat Market (Garden Town) Y-junction. However, the Karim Market (Allama Iqbal Town) intersection flyover and an underpass project has been delayed for six months because of non-availability of funds in the ongoing fiscal year.
“It has been decided in principle to launch these projects in the city, as the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has been entrusted with the task to accomplish them under a fast-track plan,” an official told Dawn on Saturday.
According to a report, the decision to launch the projects was taken in the light of studies related to number of vehicles passing, traffic congestion/clogs, public problems, environmental impact, pollution etc at the sites.
The Rs4.9 billion Sheranwala Gate project envisages about 1 kilometer-long flyover (perhaps the longest one in the city so far), from Naulakha police station to Sheranwala Gate. The flyover having 400 meter elevated, straight portion is expected to solve the traffic problems along Circular Road from where around 121,421 vehicles pass daily -- 77,012 and 60,942 turning right and left respectively.
The cost of the project also includes over Rs2 billion being spent on acquiring 22 kanal private land by the government. The project activities include earthwork and allied works, sub-base and base, surface course and pavement, structures (flyover & RCC wall, ramps, rigid pavement), drainage and erosion works, ancillary works, electrical works, landscaping and horticulture and shifting of services (Lesco, SNGPL, PTCL etc).
“Since it is an important project in terms of resolving the growing public mobility issues in the area, we are determined to complete it within the shortest possible period,” Project Director Iqrar Qureshi told Dawn.
The construction of the underpass on Ferozepur Road (Gulab Devi Hospital), costing around Rs2 billion, besides additional lanes on Lahore Bridge, is another mega project that will help resolve the growing traffic clogging issues. The project cost (over 1.971 billion) includes over Rs1.414 billion to be spent on civil works. The remaining amount will be spent on consultancy, landscaping, shifting of services etc.
Similarly, the Rs4.349 billion Shahkam Chowk flyover project aimed to ease the public mobility on the Link Canal Road (from Thokar to Shahkam Chowk), traffic congestion at Shahkam intersection and the road linking posh residential localities, including Bahria Town and the road linking Mohlanwal Stop (Multan Road) and New Defence Road.
The total length and width of the flyover, including the ramps, will be 606 meter and 23.6 meter, respectively. The civil works include the construction of the flyover and 5-6 km long track on the ground, besides rehabilitation works. The total land being acquired for this project is around 96 kanals.
Other mega projects to be launched include those meant for resolving traffic congestion on The Mall (Rs7.5 billion) and Y-Junction (Barkat Market, Rs1.5 billion).
The Mall project will have two single barrel underpasses on Davies Road and the Governor House intersections and three double barrel underpasses -- at Charring Cross, Regal Chowk and Anarkali Chowk. The total cost of this project also includes the cost of 10-kanal land acquisition.
The Rs1.5 billion signal-free project at Barkat Market Y Junction proposes three options, including a flyover, underpass and at grade (on ground) improvement. However, the cost of the 15-kanal land’s acquisition is not included in the total cost which is yet to be finalised.
Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2021