Construction work on the Rs. 30 billion Rawalpindi Ring Road project has officially commenced, with the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) taking charge, even as two-thirds of the required land remains to be acquired.
The Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) finds itself short of funds, asking the caretaker Punjab government for Rs. 4 billion. Despite this financial constraint, Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Liaquat Ali Chatha expressed optimism that the funds would be secured in the coming days.
Stretching over 38.3 kilometers, the road project has only secured land from Chak Beli Khan to Adiala, covering 12 kilometers of the route, leaving 26.3 kilometers still awaiting acquisition.
Commissioner Chatha, who is also the project director, revealed that the completion timeline has been significantly reduced to six months, as per the directive of caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi. The project’s finances will see Rs. 6.7 billion from last year utilized for land acquisition, with additional funds sought for construction.
Under Section 17(4) of the Land Acquisition Act, land acquisition will commence, compensating landowners at market rates plus an additional 15 percent. This project, while deemed essential for public welfare, does not fall under restrictions imposed by the election commission on new projects.
The Rawalpindi Ring Road, featuring five interchanges and an industrial zone, aims to alleviate traffic congestion and improve transportation in the region, with a total estimated cost of Rs. 31.7 billion. This ambitious initiative continues after overcoming political hurdles and third-party validation.