ISLAMABAD: City managers of the twin cities on Monday discussed alignment of the proposed eastern bypass and separately formed a committee to look into land issues in the boundary areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
A delegation headed by Rawalpindi Chief Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chattha held a meeting with Chief Commissioner and CDA Chairman Anwarul Haq at the CDA headquarters.
Sources said the commissioner Islamabad informed his counterpart that Rawalpindi’s revenue department was still delaying shifting of the land record of some estates (Mouzas) to Islamabad. Mr Haq told the commissioner that before establishment of Islamabad this area was also part of Rawalpindi, but after setting up of the federal capital the CDA acquired land and made it part of the new city.
However, Mr Haq said Rawalpindi’s revenue department was still dealing with some estates of Islamabad and issuing fard etc. He requested for shifting of the land record from Rawalpindi to Islamabad.
Pindi administration asks CDA to adjust alignment of proposed eastern bypass after changes to Ring Road’s starting point at Rawat
Sources said both the sides formed a committee, comprising additional deputy commissioners revenue of both the districts and other concerned officers, to find out an amiable solution to the issue. Mr Chattha and his team informed the meeting that as per CDA’s earlier approved alignment the eastern bypass would start from Radio Pakistan station at Rawat where the Rawalpindi Ring Road was also to be started.
However, the meeting was told that Ring Road’s starting point had been changed and work on the project had commenced. Now its starting point is Banth, a few kilometres from Rawat towards Jhelum.
The Rawalpindi administration told the CDA to adjust the alignment of the eastern bypass and start it from Banth. The sources said it was agreed that soon the CDA would initiate a study to readjust the alignment of eastern bypass.
The Rawalpindi Ring Road is 38.3 kilometres long with five proposed interchanges at Banth, Chak Beli Khan, Adiala Road, Chakri Road and Thalian. An industrial zone will also be established around the road. The total cost of the project is Rs31.7 billion, including Rs6.7 billion for land acquisition.
The CDA will construct around three kilometres road near G.T. Road at Sangjani to link Margalla Avenue with the Ring Road while the eastern bypass will be constructed to link the Ring Road with it.
In December 2020, the CDA board had approved the alignment of the proposed 51km-long eastern bypass which initially was support to start from G.T. Road Rawat near the radio station and end at Satra Meel near Bhara Kaku.
After crossing various areas such as Kallar Syedan Road, partially Kahuta, Nilor and Rakh Tumair, the road will culminate at Satra Meel on Murree Expressway.
The sources said out of the 51km, 14km area fell in Islamabad’s jurisdiction while 37km in Rawalpindi whereas 5km portion of the road will cross through forest land.
The sources said the road would also have six interchanges. The alignment was prepared by the army’s Engineer-in-Chief Branch (ENC) which was hired by the CDA.
The sources said once built the bypass road would help reduce traffic on Murree Road, Srinagar Highway and other major roads as traffic between Kashmir and Lahore would shift to it.
The construction of the road will also play a role in development of the rural areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad by opening new business avenues.
The project was approved by the federal cabinet in 2019 while approving an interim report prepared by a commission formed to revise Islamabad’s master plan.
The sources said the CDA was also planning to set up a special economic zone along the bypass road under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2023