RAWALPINDI: Punjab Planning and Development Board has given approval to the revised cost of Kutchery Chowk Remodeling Project worth Rs4.879 billion, which would cover the construction work and land acquisition cost.

A senior official of the Rawalpindi Development authority (RDA) told Dawn that the meeting was held on March 7 and it issued approval letter to the civic body on Friday so that work for land acquisition could commence.

He said the total cost of the project escalated from Rs3.7 billion to Rs4.879 billion as the construction material price and land acquisition cost had increased, adding that the first approval of the project was given in the 23rd Punjab Development Working Party meeting held on Oct 7, 2021.

After revision of the construction material cost, the official said the RDA submitted the revised cost estimates worth Rs4.879 billion inclusive of land acquisition to the Planning and Development Board for cost clearance.

“Following rationalised cost of Rs4.879 billion has been cleared in a meeting for issuance of the Administrative Approval of the project,” he said.

“Earlier, the cantonment and provincial authorities did not agree on the land acquisition cost. The cantonment authorities wanted more than Rs300 million for the park land on

The Mall in front of Fatima Jinnah Women University and some government land, but the provincial government did not agree on the amount claimed by the cantonment administration,” he said.

However, after discussion, he said the Planning and Development Board agreed to pay the amount demanded by the cantonment administration.

According to the approval letter available withDawn, the total project cost was Rs4.879 billion. The construction cost came to Rs3.994 billion while Rs135 million will be spent on shifting of utility services, including telephone, natutal gas and electricity, Rs5 million had been allocated for traffic maintenance and other works while Rs387 million for land acquisition in the limits of cantonment areas.

According to the RDA plan, the main square will be made signal-free and will have two-storey flyover and will be the first of its kind in the country.

According to data, more than 300,000 vehicles pass through this road daily. This intersection remains busy with traffic from morning till late at night. Due to the VVIP movement, motorists, transport and citizens remain stuck in traffic.

When contacted, RDA spokesman Hafiz Irfan said the civic authority was working on three main projects in the garrison city - Kutchery Chowk, Rawalpindi Ring Road and Leh Expressway and flood channel.

Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2022

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