Rawalpindi: After the Rawalpindi Ring Road (R3) inquiry report was finished, the federal government asked the provincial authority to bring back the old alignment, which was supposed to be completed in April 2021 but won’t be anymore.
From Rawat Radio Pakistan to Thalian and from Thalian to Sangjani, a project to build a road that is 66.3 km long and will cost Rs64 billion will begin in 2020.
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After the Establishment Division threw out the alleged corruption charges against the former commissioner, retired Capt. In the Rawalpindi Ring Road scam, Mohammad Mehmood told the Punjab government and Planning Commission on Monday to take immediate steps to get the project back on track with the best alignment in consultation with the right people.
In a press release, the Establishment Division said that when the inquiry report was done, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif told the Punjab government and Planning Commission to get an independent consulting firm of the highest repute to do a third-party validation to find the best route for the Rawalpindi Ring Road Economic Corridor Project.
The investigation report clears the former commissioner.
“Former commissioner and retired Capt. Mohammad Mahmood has been cleared of the charges brought against him under the Civil Servants (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules, 2020,” it said.
It also said that the public could look at the inquiry report by Omer Rasul, Director General of the Civil Services Academy in Lahore, on the Establishment Division’s website, www.establishment.gov.pk.
In April 2021, Prime Minister Imran Khan heard that the Punjab bureaucracy and some PTI politicians had planned to build an extra road that would have helped some private housing societies and added Rs25 billion to the cost of the project. This is how the scandal came to light.
As the Rawalpindi Ring Road project controversy grew, Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, a former special assistant to the prime minister, resigned, and Ghulam Sarwar, who was the aviation minister at the time, said that if he were found guilty of corruption, he would leave politics.
In May 2021, Chief Secretary Jawwad Rafique Malik put together a fact-finding committee. It was done after the former commissioner, retired Capt. Mohammad Mehmood was moved. In July 2021, the people who work to stop corruption arrested the former commissioner and put him in jail.
But things changed, and after the PML-N took power, a federal government committee led by Omer Rasul, Director General of the Civil Services Academy in Lahore, began to look into the matter.
After looking into the situation and talking to all of the government officials in Rawalpindi and Attock, the committee gave retired Capt. Mohammad Mehmood a clean bill of health. In response to the report, the government decided to bring back the old alignment from Rawat to Thalian and Motorway to Sangjani to connect it to Islamabad. Still, it would have to be checked by consultants with a good reputation around the world.
The previous PTI government got rid of the alignment and made a new one that goes from Rawat to the Motorway and is 38 km long. On March 19, Prime Minister Imran Khan kicked off the project and gave Frontier Works Organization the contract (FWO).
The project will cost Rs33.7 billion, including Rs27 billion for building and Rs6.7 billion for buying land. The main carriageway will be 38.3 km long.
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