RAWALPINDI: A new 50-year mater plan will be prepared for the long-term development of Rawalpindi said Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) Chairman Arif Abbasi on Tuesday.
“RDA will soon start work on a 50 years new master plan for Rawalpindi city,” he said addressing a press conference.
The provincial government had approved comprehensive Terms of Reference (TORs) for a master plan for Rawalpindi city and the process of hiring a consultant in this regard would be approved at the RDA’s next governing body meeting to be held on July 25.
In the absence of a master plan, he said, the civic bodies had failed to provide basic facilities to the residents and work on traffic engineering because of which the city’s main roads were shrinking.
In the absence of population data, the requirement for water, housing, commercial areas and other facilities could not be provided to the residents, he added.
The master plan would aim to solve traffic problems in the city and manage increasing urbanisation, he said.
With the increase in the population, the requirement for water, sewerage, electricity, gas, telephone connections, commercial and residential areas, industry, roads, streets, streetlights, parks, greenbelts, hospitals and educational institutions needs to be managed, he added.
He said, the RDA was making efforts to launch several development projects.
The Punjab government wanted progress on Rawalpindi Ring Road project to ease traffic in central parts of the city, he added.
He said, the Ring Road project would change fate of the city and future of the city was associated with the project.
He said, “We want to establish industrial zones, education city, commercial areas and housing societies along the Ring Road to avoid congestion in the city areas. The wholesale markets will also be shifted there from the city areas.”
“This project is important for Rawalpindi as it will help ease the heavy traffic.
Rawalpindi is the main city connecting the northern areas to the country’s main road network,” he said.
He added the Punjab government wanted to launch the project as soon as possible to boost business activities in the area and end traffic congestion problem on the city roads.
The project will help alleviate congestion in central areas of Rawalpindi and will make space and reduce travel time within the twin cities. It will also help the growth of the city towards the southwest side in a planned manner.
The project will help improve economic connectivity and road transport efficiency for the twin cities, Islamabad and Rawalpindi areas.
He advised the citizens not to invest in illegal housing societies and check status of a housing project at RDA’s official website before any investment.
RDA had adopted zero tolerance policy against illegal housing schemes, he said.
He further said, RDA was pursuing strict policy to control illegal housing schemes in its jurisdiction and making efforts to save the citizens from any fraud.
He informed that the status of the housing schemes was updated and all legal and illegal schemes were uploaded on RDA’s website. Now, the authority was also uploading the approved layout plans of the housing schemes on the authority’s website so that the citizens even from abroad could check location of the plots, he added.
The Chairman informed that the Punjab government had also given green light for a water supply project for the Rawalpindi district in the fiscal year 2019-20, which would bring water from two dams to the city.
The plan involves construction of the Daducha mini-dam on the outskirts of Rawalpindi near the village of Daducha. Separately, a new water supply line would be laid and water treatment plant would also be installed at the Chhann dam.
He said, the tube-wells were depleting underground water levels of the city rapidly.
To another question he said, a water supply system would also be build from the Ghazi-Barotha Dam.
Once completed, the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi could expect to receive around 600 million gallons per day (MGD) of water of which 100 MGD would be supplied to Rawalpindi while rest would be consumed in Islamabad.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2019.