LAHORE: The construction of Chubacha underpass on Canal Road started on Tuesday and the project is likely to be completed by end of April.
“If the Lahore Development Authority completes land acquisition soon and we gets No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Pakistan Railways (PR) the work would be completed by the end of April,” Habib Construction Services CEO and Project Civil Contractor Shahid Saleem while talking to The Express Tribune.
He said the company was awaiting completion of the land acquisition process as some additional land which is owned by the Pakistan Railways and Irrigation Department land would be acquired for the project. There were around three shrines along the Canal Bank Road that would also be affected by the project, he mentioned.
The development work on the longest underpass in the city (around 1.3km) long, started last month and the company would also increase the height at the Shalimar Interchange under the project, Shahid said, adding at present heavy vehicles like buses and trucks cannot pass through. However, the height increases it would smoothen the flow of traffic. He added the company would build a civic structure for the underpass and hand it over to the PR.
The new underpass will be of three lanes on both sides of the canal for which the government will acquire land. It will start near the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club (RPGCC) and finish before Shalimar Interchange after crossing two railway junctions. City planners believe the construction of a new underpass will dramatically improve traffic flow and reduce commuters’ miseries during rush hours.
The Chubacha Underpass was planned in 2011 but the work could not be initiated due to financial problems. It was estimated that the project would cost Rs1.7 billion out of which Rs400 million was earmarked for the land acquisition. However, the government had recently awarded Rs2.6 billion contract for the underpass in December after the cost escalated by 53%.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2017.