The acquisition of land for the revised Ring Road project enabled. Punjab Planning and Development Board (PPDB) has approved the PC-I worth Rs6.7 billion and given the green light to begin land acquisition for the revised Rawalpindi Ring Road project.
However, the district administration has yet to recoup funds paid to landowners for acquiring land along the old Ring Road route from Radio Pakistan to Murat and Sangjani.
Land worth Rs380 million had been acquired for the Ring Road project in Rawalpindi district but canceled the acquisition following allegations of corruption.
The scandal surfaced after Prime Minister Imran Khan learned of allegations that the Punjab bureaucracy and some PTI politicians planned an additional road to benefit some private housing societies, thereby increasing the project’s actual cost by Rs25 billion.
The district administration has yet to recoup money paid to landowners for the now-canceled route, official reports.
Former Divisional Commissioner retired the Anti-Corruption Establishment detained Capt Mohammad Mehmood for two months following the controversy. Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari resigned as special assistant to the prime minister.
Commissioner Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah canceled the project’s land acquisition in early August. They would recover the amount paid to landowners to purchase land along the entire length of the illegally advertised alignment in Rawalpindi and Attock districts under Section 48(1) of the Land Acquisition Act 1894.
“In the aftermath of the Rawalpindi Ring Road scandal, Commissioner Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah halted the project’s land acquisition in Rawalpindi and Attock. The district administration has begun collecting money from those whose land was acquired for the project, but it has not yet been completed.”
Read more with EL news : Rs 1 billion in projects have been completed by RCB
He stated that the government directed the administration to coordinate with the Rawalpindi Development Authority to initiate the land acquisition process along the newly approved route.
“The 38.3-kilometer-long new route will begin in Banth near Rawat and end in Thalian near the motorway. They will conduct a new price assessment will be conducted following the implementation of Section 4 in the area, which prohibits the sale and purchase of land,” he explained.
He stated that he undertook the same project during the tenure of the federal government led by Nawaz Sharif in 2014. However, after assuming power, the PTI-led government in Punjab initiated a new project but had to abandon it due to corruption allegations.
According to a senior RDA official, work on land acquisition for Ring Road had begun following approval by the PC-I.
“On Sunday, all patwaris (land revenue officials) met at the RDA offices, and the Director Land requested that they submit land details to the RDA,” he said.
He stated that the Punjab government would fund the project, which would build under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP). However, no funds have been allocated for the project in the current fiscal year.
“The RDA is preparing the PC-I, which will be presented to the Punjab Development Working Party (PDWP) at its next meeting,” he explained.
Keep up with Estate Land Marketing for news and updates.