• Organisation quoted price Rs300m less than estimated cost
• Work to start next month; land acquisition underway

RAWALPINDI: The Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) on Wednesday acquired the contract to start the much-awaited Rawalpindi Ring Road (R3) project, estimated to cost Rs22.8 billion.

On the other hand, the delegation of a Chinese company expressed its interest in the Leh Nullah Expressway and flood channel projects during its visit to the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) office on Wednesday.

RDA Chief Engineer Dr Habibul Haq Randhawa, who is deputy project director of the R3 project, told Dawn that the development authority had awarded Rs22.8bn contract of the Rawalpindi Ring Road to the FWO.

He said the FWO had quoted a price Rs300 million less than the estimated cost and emerged as the lowest bidder after the committee opened technical and financial bids in the presence of relevant officials.

He said in accordance with clause No. 26 (B) of the general directions for guidance of tenders, the FWO has been asked to furnish performance security at the rate of 5pc of the contract price which comes to Rs1.14bn in shape of cash, pay order or bank guarantee (on stamp paper) from any scheduled bank of Pakistan within 15 days from issuance of this letter in favour of the project director, Project Management Unit (PMU), Rawalpindi Ring Road.

Apart from this, sources told Dawn that the Punjab government had also released Rs4bn for the R3 project while the RDA would give Rs3.5bn to FWO – the contractor of R3 –for mobilisation of machinery.

They said the government had been asked to utilise the fund amounting to Rs4bn by June 30, 2022, adding that the RDA would give Rs500 million for initial work.

Work on the R3 project would likely start next month while land acquisition had commenced in the area. A total of 8,992 kanals would be utilised for the Ring Road from Banth to Thalian.

The Punjab government had provided Rs5.913bn for land acquisition for the 38.3km road, out of which so far, Rs2.39bn had been spent.

Rawalpindi Ring Road will have six lanes and four interchanges on Banth-Chak Beli Khan Road, Adiala Road, Chakri Road and Thalian.

The project had earlier led to a major scandal involving some PTI leaders and senior government officials.

Chinese delegation visits RDA

A delegation led by China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) Chief Executive OfficerChang Chun visited the Rawalpindi Development Authority and held a meeting with its chairman, Tariq Mehmood Murtaza.

The delegation was willing to cooperate in mega projects like the Rawalpindi Ring Road and Leh Nullah Expressway.

Speaking on the occasion, the RDA chairman said longstanding ties between the two countries were based on solid foundation and with the passage of time, their friendship would certainly strengthen.

He said China had given relief assistance to Pakistan in different construction projects such as New Islamabad Airport, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The meeting was informed that concrete steps would be taken to provide modern construction facilities through public-private partnership.

Manager of Marketing Department China State Construction Engineering Corporation Wang Weiwei and retired Brig Nusratullah, former CDA member, were also present on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2022

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