Rawalpindi to remodel Ammar Chowk

Commissioner directs feasibility report, PC-I for building an underpass at Kutcheri Chowk


Jameel Mirza January 05, 2020
PHOTO: AFP

RAWALPINDI: After a delay of nearly seven years, owing to various reasons, the design for remodelling the Ammar Shaheed Chowk has been finalised by the district government.

Work on the Rs788 million project is expected to commence soon. Meanwhile, the government is also considering plans to build an underpass at Kutcheri Chowk.

The projects were decided during a meeting chaired by Rawalpindi Commissioner Captain (retired) Muhammad Mehmood on Saturday to review the two projects.

While addressing participants of the meeting, he said that the district government wanted to transform Rawalpindi into a model city.

He added that Ammar Chowk is being remodelled as part of the Leh Expressway project. He further said that the final design of the square has been prepared. The remodelling project, he said, will cost around Rs788 million and work on the project is expected to commence soon.

By remodelling the square, Capt Mehmood hoped that commuters will not have to suffer in long traffic jams, especially when they are stopped during VIP movement.

Explaining the need for building an underpass at Kutcheri Chowk, Mahmood highlighted that traffic congestion is one of the biggest problems in Rawalpindi. The square, in particular, sees an estimated 100,000 motorists pass through it every day as part of their commute. The volume of traffic, though, is too high for the narrow square, creating a logjam.

The underpass, he said, will help ease traffic congestion and improve the movement of vehicles.

He directed the related officials to devise the feasibility report and project concept (PC) 1 of the underpass so that work on it could proceed.

Capt Mehmood further directed officials of the district government s to fulfil their responsibilities, redouble their efforts to complete the development schemes in the city within the stipulated deadlines and ensure that the work done meets the specified quality requirements.

RDA one-window project

Overruling an objection from the acting chief engineer, the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has decided to expedite work on its proposed modern one-window operation.

For this purpose, the authority will construct a huge hall where counters will be set up for each department in the authority. Citizens can obtain the desired information or lodge complaints by submitting their application to these counters.

The project is estimated to cost Rs40.4 million while the new RDA Director General (DG) Ammara Khan, has also selected a site to construct the project’s building.

Acting Chief Engineer Amir Rasheed had suggested that instead of constructing a new building, two rooms in the basement of the existing RDA building could be utilised to set up the one-window system.

However, his recommendation was turned down by RDA Chairman Tariq Mehmood Murtaza.

Apart from a hall with counters, the new building will include a waiting area along with other facilities such as washrooms.

When contacted about why the engineer’s recommendations were rejected, RDA Chairman Murtaza told The Express Tribune that the Punjab government had given clear instructions to construct a new, modern building to facilitate people.

He added that the measure will not only help in the swift resolution of public complaints but will also help bring improvement in the authority’s performance as it will push the administrative machinery to perform better.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2020.

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