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Lai Expressway Cost Rises by Rs. 100 Billion Amid 16-Year Delay

The 168-kilometer signal-free Lai Expressway and Flood Channel around Nullah Lai have been restudied for development after a 16-year hiatus, a media report stated.

The Lai Expressway and Flood Channel projects have been under consideration for over a decade. The project intends to redirect open sewage into secure sewers and trenches to prevent monsoon floods in Nullah Lai. Unfortunately, the provincial and federal administrations have failed to fund the critical initiative.

The report highlights that, due to these delays, the project cost has exceeded by Rs. 100 billion. This excludes the anticipated Rs. 30 billion for land purchase.

According to sources, 16-kilometer-long concrete sewer trenches on both sides of Nullah Lai spans from the IJP Main Road in Islamabad to the Swan Defence Chowk. This project would dispose of sewage properly and decrease open drainage pollution.

The report stated that Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has created two teams to prepare a project survey report. A Punjab chief secretary-led meeting examined the delayed project, sources said. The meeting included RDA, WASA Rawalpindi, WASA Lahore, NESPAK, and other departments.

Other Delayed Projects

A January report claimed that work on three major projects, including the renovation of Kutchery Chowk, Defence Chowk, and the signal-free road from Katta Chowk to the highway, is unlikely to commence in FY2022-23.

The Punjab government allocated Rs. 6.4 billion for the renovation of Kutchery Chowk and transferred Rs. 1 billion to the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA). Unfortunately, the municipal authority was unable to commence the project due to the lack of a traffic management plan.

In addition, the Rs. 2.2 billion Defence Chowk project for 2021 has been stalled due to the National Highway Administration’s (NHA) slow development on the Soan River bridge.

The third project was to remove traffic lights from Kutchery Chowk to Motorway along The Mall and Peshawar Road. The project was previously included in the Punjab Yearly Development Programme, however, development has yet to commence.

Rawalpindi’s traffic is being impeded by these project delays, but the government has yet to take actual and effective action.

Via: Express Tribune

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