The Punjab Planning and Development Board has handed the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) PC-I of the Rawalpindi Ring Road project, with the mandate to first decide on the roads construction mode. According to EL news. Following allegations of corruption, the province government rerouted the road and decided to construct it under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) rather than the planned Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The Planning and Development Board opposed the PC-I, claiming that building should come first because the provincial government will pay the PSDP money. Under the PPP model, the government and private sector will split project costs. According to a top administration source, the Punjab Chief Minister PPP Authority already approved the project.
He stated that he would hand over the project to the Lahore Ring Road Authority to complete. The provincial government, on the other hand, decided against it. However, they suspended the project after Prime Minister Imran Khan learned of alleged changes to the Rawalpindi Ring Road project’s layout. These changes not only increased the project’s cost by PKR 25 billion, but they also helped several private housing societies. Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Establishment has opened an investigation into allegations of corruption and arrested former commissioner Capt. Mohammad Mahmoud. Some government officials benefited from the scheme, including Special Assistant to Prime Minister Zulfikar Bukhari. Zulfikar Bukhari resigned as a result of the conflict. The project’s new concept restored the 38-kilometre road alignment from Rawat to Thalian in June.
According to a previous plan, the 66.3-kilometre Ring Road would go from Rewat Radio Pakistan to Thalian, then from Thalian to Sangjani. The Punjab government was obliged to acquire 2,275 acres of land, with 1385.7 acres at PKR 5 billion being the most expensive. However, the official claimed that the government had yet to decide what would happen to the PKR 2.5 billion spent on land acquisition. He said that the government had not presented a clear policy on the 246.7 kanal of land that nine housing societies had given to the Punjab government free of charge after being ordered to make way for the Ring Road.
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The government intended to start the project on a new alignment, according to a local administration official. The previous PML-N government worked on the Ring Road alignment from Chani Sher Alam near Rawat to Thalian. He said that the Chinese bank Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was willing to finance the Punjab government $400 million to build the road. However, he did remark that after extending the Ring Road alignment from Thalian to Sangjani, the PTI administration decided to make the road a public-private partnership (PPP) and created economic zones around the Ring Road to generate revenue.
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