RAWALPINDI: The Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP) has approved a new design for the remodeling of Kutchery Chowk to cater to maximum traffic on the main junction of the garrison city.

The project will be completed in 24 months without the closure of traffic on the main square.

Under the new design, a flyover will be constructed to cater to traffic coming from Rawat side after construction of the Kharian Motorway which will connect to Grand Trunk Road and the proposed Rawalpindi Ring Road. This will provide an easy way to 131,500 vehicles per day. In the previous design, the remodeling would have catered to only 100,000 vehicles day.

The cost of the project has escalated from Rs4.879 billion to Rs6.422 billion due to the addition of the flyover and 25 per cent increase in the prices of construction material.

The board meeting was held to give approval to the new design with Planning and Development Board Chairman Abdullah Khan Sumbal in the chair. The design was presented by Commissioner Noorul Amin Mengal and Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) Chief Engineer Dr Habibul Haq Randhawa.

A senior official of the Planning and Development told Dawn that the RDA had submitted the revised cost estimate of Rs4.879 billion inclusive of land acquisition to the Planning and Development Board for clearance. He said a rationalised cost of Rs4.879 billion was cleared at a meeting held on March 7, 2022. Different design options were outlined on the basis of the level of service improvement, project cost and traffic benefits.

After consultation with all stakeholders, the best possible option was selected, he added. However, now the RDA has come up with a revised PC-I due to the revised scope, comprising the addition of a flyover of Y-shaped to benefit traffic from Rawat to Saddar, Saddar to Rawat and Marrir Chowk to Rawat.

Under the project, the first level underpass will be constructed for Saddar to the old airport and from there to Saddar. Previously, there were level-2 underpass for Saddar to Rawat, Saddar to the airport with total six lanes.

The commissioner informed the forum that earlier the project was approved with a design having a two-level underpass but after discussion with all stakeholders the design was slightly amended to a Y-shaped flyover along with an underpass, keeping in view the security needs of the route.

The project was approved at a total cost of Rs6.422 billion with the gestation period of 24 months. The RDA shall reconsider the vertical clearance of proposed underpass for Iftikhar Janjua Road towards the airport-bound traffic from 3.6 metres to 5.3 metres.

RDA Chief Engineer Dr Habibul Haq Randhawa said Kutchery Chowk situated at the heart of city along GT Road was the signalised intersection of five major urban arteries. This included the airport road from Ammar Chowk, Rashid Minhas Road from Marrir Chowk, Adiala and Tufail roads on the southern side.

The presence of districts courts in its vicinity further worsens the traffic congestion especially during peak hours. Due to gravity of the existing situation, RDA has planned to conduct a feasibility study along with a detailed design for remodeling of the chowk.

Nespak had been entrusted the task through a competitive bidding to provide the best possible solution to the traffic congestion.

“The proposed improvement will provide uninterrupted flow of two-way traffic along GT Road (N-5) at Kutchery Chowk intersection, which will benefit the daily commuters apart from overcoming the traffic problems in terms of delays, fuel consumption,” he said.

Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2022

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