RAWALPINDI: Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi has said the new financial budget would be for four months.

“Funds for Rawalpindi Ring Road project will be allocated in the budget and work will be started soon on the Kutchery Chowk remodelling project. Funds will also be allocated in the current budget for Rawalpindi Safe City,” the chief minister said.

He was speaking during his visit to the garrison city where he laid the foundation stone of Potohar Enclosure and guest rooms at Rawalpindi Gymkhana.

Addressing members of the ceremony, Mr Naqvi said the model of Rawalpindi Gymkhana would be replicated in other cities of Punjab, adding that gymkhana clubs should be formed in Punjab under self-help because this model is successful.

Commissioner Rawalpindi Liaquat Ali Chattha said that the Potohar enclosure of gymkhana will be completed in a record short period. He said that food halls, coffee shop, grand cinema, table tennis lounge, snooker room and children’s fun zone will be constructed. It will also have conference rooms, salons, an administration wing and laundry room.

He said that under the gymkhana project, 38 guest rooms are being constructed with the support of citizens and the business community of Rawalpindi, with a total cost of Rs550 million. He said that the enclosure includes a library, food halls, coffee shop, grand cinema, table tennis lounge, snooker room and children’s fun zone.

Punjab Caretaker Minister Auqaf Azfar Ali Nasir, Adviser Kunwar Dilshad, Commissioner Rawalpindi Liaquat Ali Chatta, Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) Director General Saif Anwar Jappa, Deputy Commissioner Hassan Waqar Cheema, Director Development Nazia Sudhan and others were also present on the occasion.

It may be mentioned here that the Punjab government plans to start three new development projects including Rawalpindi Ring Road, Safe City Project and Kutchery Chowk Remodelling project. RDA has signed an agreement with Asian Consulting Engineers JV with Botek Bogazici Musavirlik Anonim Sirketi (Turkish Company) to conduct third party validation for optimal route of Rawalpindi Ring Road (R3). However, this work will be completed in six weeks.

For the remodelling of Kutchery chowk, the RDA has finalised a contractor but the work will likely start in the next fiscal year. The provincial government released Rs1 billion for the project in the current fiscal year but RDA failed to utilise it and returned it back to the government.

No work has been started on land acquisition yet. The Punjab government has decided to enter into an agreement with the Safe City Authority to install closed-circuit cameras in the garrison city after approval of the federal government.

The project will cost Rs23 billion and an agreement to this effect will be signed between the Safe City Authority and the district administration after getting a nod from the centre, which will bear the cost of the project alongside the provincial government.

On the other hand, under the law, the caretaker government will not make any decision on development works till the formation of a new government after general elections.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2023

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