RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has started work on hiring a private firm of international repute to conduct a third-party validation of two routes for the Rawalpindi Ring Road.

In this regard, a pre-bid conference was held in the commissioner office where private firms were invited to answer their queries. The conference was led by RDA Chief Engineer Dr Habib Randhawa.

Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners (PCATP) raised an objection at the conference that the RDA did not invite bids from town planners despite the fact the project was based on town planning.

It requested the civic body to cancel the bidding process and invite new applications from engineering and town planning firms.

RDA requested to cancel bidding process, invite engineering and town planning firms for validation

However, RDA officials said the scope of Phase I was related to pure engineering/road design and the scope of Phase II was preliminary land use sketch/concept/plan with viable financial and technical options of economic corridor alongside the ring road. It is not exclusively a town planning or urban regeneration assignment, they said.

The Punjab government has decided that a consultancy firm will be hired which would work on the project in two phases - Phase-I for determination of the optimal route, economic corridor and Phase II for consisting of a detailed plan for land use along the third-party validated of the road’s alignment.

For the two phases, Rs90 million has been allocated - Rs30 million for Phase-I and Rs60 million for Phase II.

The RDA chief engineer said the economic corridor would be selected keeping in view the components of the economic zone which may include envisaged industrial units, education and health zones, recreational areas, central business districts, theme parks, high-rise building zones and relocation and establishment of commercial markets, truck/bus terminals.

It may be noted that the federal government has enlisted five mega projects to fetch foreign investment after Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s recent visit to UAE.

These projects are: Parco coastal refinery Phase-I oil import terminal, Kharian-Rawalpindi Motorway, Rawalpindi Ring Road, Karachi Circular Railway and the connectivity of Thar Block-II with the railway network.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2022

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