Ring Road rawalpindi
The Ring Road Rawalpindi is a 67.3-kilometer (41.8 mi) long, 6-lane wide, controlled-access highway that encircles the city of Rawalpindi, Pakistan. It is the longest ring road in Pakistan and is one of the largest infrastructure projects in the country. The project was initiated in 2006 and will complete in 2024.
The Ring Road Rawalpindi is expected to have a significant impact on the city, both in terms of traffic and real estate. The highway will help to reduce traffic congestion in the city center and will provide a faster and more efficient route for commuters and commercial vehicles. The Ring Road is also expected to boost real estate prices in the surrounding areas, as it will make these areas more accessible and desirable.
The Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA), responsible for overseeing the project, finds itself in a funding predicament. With no immediate funds available, the RDA has requested Rs4 billion from the caretaker Punjab government to kick-start construction. Fortunately, Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Liaquat Ali Chatha expressed confidence that this funding request would be approved shortly.
Current Land Acquisition Status:
As of now, the district administration has successfully acquired land spanning 12 kilometers from Chak Beli Khan to Adiala. However, a substantial 26.3-kilometer stretch of land remains to be acquired.
Commissioner Chatha, who also serves as the project director, confirmed that construction work is now in progress, with the FWO deploying its heavy machinery. Despite the initial timeline set at one year for completion, caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi has urged the project’s swift completion within just six months.
Fair Compensation for Landowners
Chatha emphasized that the Land Acquisition Act’s section 17(4) has been invoked in specific areas near the motorway, enabling the acquisition of land from Monday onwards. Land will be purchased from local landowners at market rates, with an additional 15 percent compensation to ensure fairness.
Project Status in Light of Election Commission’s Regulations
Commissioner Chatha clarified that the Ring Road project is not a new initiative but rather an ongoing one that began last year. As such, it is not subject to the election commission’s restrictions on new projects preceding general elections.
Project Significance and Impact
Chatha highlighted the importance of the Ring Road project as a significant public welfare endeavor. He dispelled rumors of its cancellation and underscored the crucial role of the RDA in implementing vital development projects. The Ring Road is expected to alleviate traffic congestion and enhance mobility for residents in neighboring areas.
Under the PTI government, two routes were initially planned for the project, but construction ultimately began on the main carriageway from Baanth on Grand Trunk Road to Thallian on the motorway. The project faced temporary suspension during the PDM government but was later resumed after third-party validation of the route. The foundation stone for the road was laid by former Prime Minister Imran Khan in March 2022, with the FWO awarded the contract. Notably, former Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif had insisted on seeking a third-party consultant to validate the optimal route, leading to the foundation stone being laid at Rawat on August 8 of the same year.
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