RAWALPINDI: The first quarter of the fiscal year 2022-23 is near to an end but the civic bodies in Rawalpindi city and cantonment have failed to launch any new development work due to absence of proper planning.

Rawalpindi Metropolitan Corporation (RMC) allocated Rs4 billion for uplift schemes but did not start work on any of them.

“The district government asked RMC to repair and reconstruct roads in its limits which had been destroyed during heavy rains but there is still no plan,” said a senior official of RMC while talking to Dawn.

He said more than 50 roads in the city areas needed reconstruction but the civic body had no plan. He said there was a dire need for elected representatives in the RMC who could force the civic body to start development schemes.

He said former commissioner Noorul Amin Mengal had directed the RMC to utilise the development fund on reconstruction of roads and streets.

Three parking plazas planned but they remain on paper, says official

He said the monument of Benazir Bhutto at Liaquat Bagh and restoration of Sujan Singh Haveli and the food street at Bhabara Bazaar were the main projects but the RMC failed to start work on its PC-I.

He said the basic aim of the projects was to attract tourists and visitors. Three parking plazas had also been planned to solve parking problems in the downtown areas but these projects are still on papers.

On the other hand, Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) had three main projects - Rawalpindi Ring Road, Katcheri Chowk remodeling and Leh Nullah expressway and flood channel.

“For the last four years, the civic body has failed to launch the projects and it did not make any plan for improvement of roads and streets,” said a senior official of the RDA.

He said three PC-I had been prepared for Ring Road, four for Leh Nullah expressway and flood channel and three for Katcheri Chowk remodeling, but work was yet to be started on them.

He said for Rawalpindi Ring Road project, the government wanted foreign investment as it had no money while Katcheri Chowk remodeling was in tendering process and there was no sign to start work on the Leh Nullah expressway and flood channel.

RDA is also confused to launch Ring Road and Leh Nullah expressway projects as there was too much politics involved in these projects. He said strangely RDA did not launch any uplift scheme in last three years.

When contacted, RDA spokesman Mohammad Irfan said the authority was working on mega projects and would start work on them soon.

He said the civic body had started work on the projects included in the annual development programme (ADP) and this year the government had included only three projects in the ADP.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2022

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