PM orders Punjab to begin work on Leh Expressway by December

PM orders Punjab to begin work on Leh Expressway by December

Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the provincial government to begin work on the Rs55 billion Leh Expressway and Flood Channel project by December 31.

According to PTI MNA Sheikh Rashid Shafique, the provincial government recently briefed the PM.

He claimed Commissioner Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah would soon establish a Project Management Unit to oversee the multi-billion dollar project’s homework.

The commissioner will soon start work on acquiring the site, adding that they urgently needed the project to provide an alternative route for visitors between Rawalpindi and Islamabad and a permanent solution to flooding in the monsoon area.

Project Director appointed; Project Management Unit established

However, a top source informed Dawn that the Punjab government planned to start the Urban Regeneration Project to strengthen infrastructure along the proposed Leh Expressway (ADP).

Officials suggested forming a committee for the Urban Regeneration Project along Leh Nullah, he said.

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On July 4, the Punjab Development Working Party approved the establishment of a Project Management Unit (PMU) and directed the launch of a feasibility study for urban regeneration along the nullah. Construction on the Leh Expressway must start by December.

The Leh Nullah Expressway will be 16.5 km long. It is estimated that 1,604 dwellings are in the way of the proposed expressway, and 1,279 Kanal of land will be acquired – 1,035.9 private, 132.4 militaries, 54.72 Chaklala, and 56 Rawalpindi.

The land acquisition survey was completed in early 2021 by former commissioner Mohammad Mehmood, currently in Anti-Corruption Establishment custody in the Rawalpindi Ring Road controversy.

After taking office, Rawalpindi Ring Road and Leh Expressway and Flood Channel are two large projects announced by the PTI government. However, due to alleged corruption in the project, Prime Minister Imran Khan halted work.

The Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) Chairman Tariq Mehmood said the RDA had finished homework after the prime minister ordered a meeting to speed up work on the project. He stated that the divisional commissioner would be the project director and quickly set up the Project Management Unit. RDA will support the commissioner in this regard, he said.

“RDA initiated the process of hiring a consultant for the urban regeneration feasibility study. The study selected up to three firms. They will appoint the consultant and will complete the study in four months. “We expect to start in early January,” he said.

Construction on the Leh Expressway must commence by December.

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