RAWALPINDI: The recent surge in petroleum prices has forced contractors of development projects to demand revision of rates, leading to suspension of work on several schemes in the district.

As petroleum prices have been revised three times in the last one month, the prices of steel bars, cement and crush has increased.

As a result, the contractors are demanding an increase in the rates of contracts.

A senior official of the district administration told Dawn that contractors were not ready to work on old rates and wanted rates increased as per inflation.

However, he said the government already revised the rates of contracts of development projects in December 2021 and due to this, the cost of mega projects escalated by 25pc.

Govt to issue notification after Eidul Azha

He said that the government was working on revising the rates and in this regard, a new notification would likely be issued after Eidul Azha.

“Work on the new projects has been pending for the last one month but Commissioner Noorul Amin Mengal tried to complete development work in Murree,” the official said.

“The government wants to improve the condition of roads before the start of Eid. The administration completed road carpeting from Lower Topa to Jhika Gali, Jhika Gali to Kuldana, Sunny Bank to 17 Meel, Government House Road and others,” he added.

On the other hand, Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) and Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) have still not launched work for improvement of roads, streets and drains in the last three months.

A senior RDA official told Dawn that the civic body had three main projects in hand including remodelling of Kutchery Chowk, and the Ring Road, Rawal Expressway and Flood Channel project but on the directives of the government, funds that had been released for Kutchery Chowk and Ring Road were given back.

“The project cost of Kutchery Chowk will likely escalate by 25pc if the government revised the rates. In December 2021, after revision of contract rates, the project cost increased from Rs3.7 billion to Rs4 billion and it will further increase,” he said, adding that the fate of the Ring Road project was still uncertain and a decision in this regard was expected after July 17.

The government allocated Rs50 million for the Rawal Expressway and Flood Channel but this amount is not enough, he said, adding work is underway for revision of the PC-I of the project.

Mr Mengal said that the government would solve the issue of revision of rates but it was necessary to complete pending projects in Murree. He said that the work on schemes would be started after Eidul Azha.

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2022

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