RAWALPINDI: As Ammar Chowk remodeling project worth Rs1.307 billion will be ready by Dec 20, Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has requested the Punjab government to start Kutchery Chowk underpass project worth Rs3.6 billion.

“The civic body requested the government to first start Kutchery Chowk and then take up Defence Chowk remodeling and transfer the money allocated for Defence Chowk to Kutchery Chowk project as it was more important,” said a senior official of RDA while talking to Dawn.

Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has prepared PC-I of remodeling of Kutchery Chowk and Defence Chowk and send it to Planning and Development Board for the approval.

The project cost of Kutchery Chowk was estimated at Rs3.630 billion and Rs2.200 billion will be spent on construction of Defence Chowk.

A senior official of RDA told Dawn that the government allocated Rs300 million each for Kutchery Chowk and Defence Chowk in front of Shifa Eye Hospital and Fauji Foundation Hospital in its annual development programme.

He said if RDA started both the projects at a time, it would create traffic problem so they decided to launch Kutchery Chowk project first and then Defence Chowk.

He said the civic body had demanded release of Rs1.8 billion for the project so the work would be started by early next year. He said the provincial government had in principle approved the project.

About the PC-I of the project, he said the provincial government had sent the PC-I to communication and works department for vetting and after its green signal, the Planning and Development Board will give formal approval.

He said the traffic congestion had increased on main square and the long queues are visible on all the roads. He said according to the plan, the underpass would be constructed to connect The Mall and Airport Road with The Mall and Jhelum Road.

However, he said the RDA wanted to construct flyover but the garrison authorities rejected the idea due to security concerns and allowed to construct the underpass.

When contacted, RDA spokesman Mohammad Irfan said the RDA was working on two main projects Kutchery Chowk and Defence Chowk. However, he said that the work on the projects would be started after the completion of Ammar Chowk as per instructions of Punjab government to avoid traffic rush in the main squares of the garrison city.

Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2021

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