GUJRAT: The removal of concrete slabs from the city’s commercially important west Circular Road has been initiated for its reconstruction after the provincial government partially allowed the authorities to relaunch this uplift project.

Earlier, the Punjab’s caretaker government had stopped the work on all the mega development projects launched by the PML-Q led coalition government in the home town of former chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi.

The provincial government had also withdrawn all the funds released for these schemes, including the reconstruction of the city roads, at a cost of Rs1 billion.

The carpeting of Court Road, Ramtalai Road, Jinnah Road and the Circular Road was part of the development package, but a portion of the west Circular Road had been left incomplete due to the laying of a sewerage pipeline between the Prince Chowk and Fawara Chowk.

However, the construction work in the city’s most congested area has begun after a gap of some four months, after strong protest by the local traders and residents of adjoining localities against halting of the project.

Soon after the provincial government’s nod to relaunch the work on this road, the newly-laid sewerage pipeline was connected with the other lines and the open drains in the area.

Heavy machinery is being used to remove the concrete slabs from the said portion of the road that will be carpeted after compaction work.

However, the contractor firm had carpeted other city roads without removal of the concrete slabs, compromising the quality of work just in a bid to speedily complete the project before the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly at that time.

Official sources say Gujrat Deputy Commissioner Safdar Virk had recommended to the provincial government to release the remaining funds for all the ongoing uplift schemes in the city.

However, so far the authorities concerned have only allowed resumption of the work on west Circular Road as departmental inquiries into other mega projects are underway.

The local traders have urged the Punjab government to ensure the completion of the road carpeting before the start of monsoon, as the area had been prone to urban flooding since long.

An administrative official says that work is being speedily done in double (day and night) shifts at the site to complete the road carpeting before the start of rainy season during the next month.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2023

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