RAWALPINDI: Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz on Thursday visited the garrison city to review the progress of the Rawalpindi Ring Road project and Daducha Dam project, directing the officials concerned to complete the projects in time to end the problems faced by the residents of the city.

During her visit to the dam site, the CM was briefed by the officials from the irrigation department and the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) about the ongoing project located at a distance of 25km from Rawalpindi and land acquisition in this regard. The dam, with a height of 123 feet, a length of 737 feet, and a catchment area of 129 square miles, is set to be completed by Nov 2025, as per the chief minister’s directive. The acquisition of 16,194 kanal and 14 marla of land from Rawalpindi and Kallar Syedan for the dam has been completed.

CM Maryam stressed the need to deploy additional machinery and labour at the site to expedite the work on the project. She said Pakistan was going to face a severe shortage of water in the future and it was crucial to harvest and store rainwater through such dams.

FWO officials informed the CM that the work on the dam site resumed in November 2023 and that the work on spillways was underway. The officials said efforts were afoot to finalise the revised PC-1 to reevaluate the price of the land in light of a court order. They claimed that the financial progress at this stage was 40pc and physical progress at 12pc.

Punjab CM sets December as deadline for Ring Road project, wants more dams to cope with water scarcity

The CM said that people gave mandate to the PML-N to solve their problems and the Punjab government under the guidance of Nawaz Sharif wanted to end the water shortage in the area as soon as possible.

The completion of Dadocha Dam will address the water shortage faced by Rawalpindi and other areas, particularly during summer when the shortfall reaches 60 MGD. The dam to be constructed for Rs12 billion will contribute to Rawalpindi’s water needs.

Rawalpindi Ring Road

The newly-elected CM also visited the Rawalpindi Ring Road project site which commenced in Sept 2023 and is scheduled for completion in Feb 2025. Maryam Nawaz inspected the project site at Trahia where she was briefed by the FWO officials on the project’s progress. She, however, asked them to complete the project by Dec 2024.

Officials said the 38.3 km-long road’s route has been cleared, and the relocation of utility services was underway. The briefing also indicated that 24pc of the project had been completed and shared the plan for the construction of five interchanges, 11 overpasses, two river bridges, six drains, one railway bridge, 15 underpasses, and a rest area along the route. The CM highlighted the road’s significance for Rawalpindi’s transportation ease and emphasised that the industrial zones along the road would be a game-changer for the city, providing employment opportunities for locals.

She stressed the need to complete the project within the two-year timeframe, ensuring round-the-clock work to meet the deadline with no compromise on construction quality. Maryam Nawaz also proposed naming the Rawalpindi Ring Road interchanges after the respective villages.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2024

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