Economic zone along Lahore's ring road in offing

LRRA studies proposal to generate funds for completing project

  Rameez Khan March 09, 2020

LAHORE: The Lahore Ring Road Authority (LRRA) is considering development of its first economic zone, named Goods and Logistics Hub, along the motorway to help generate revenue for construction of the last stretch of its 17km Southern Loop Four (SL4), The Express Tribune has learnt.

Sources in the LRRA said the authority was working on a financial model to offer development of the Goods and Logistics Hub along the SL4. They said the authority would consider any unsolicited bid from any land developer with more than 2,000 kanals along the route of SL4, between Maraka, Multan Road and Nazar Labana, M3 Motorway. They said the SL4 that would be constructed under public-private partnership and the land developer would have to share the LRRA equity in construction of the loop. In return for the equity share, the LRRA will help the land developer in establishing the commercial zone.

The sources said the authority would provide an access to the commercial zone from Lahore Ring Road by creating a special interchange.

He said that this would be the first commercial zone alongside the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Lahore. The place would provide a workable alternative to the walled city’s wholesale markets. It would be ideal for cold storages, vegetable and fruit markets, fish market, general imported goods wholesale market besides offering an ideal business turf for many other trades. Since this place will be along the ring road, connected with motorway, there would be no time limitation for heavy traffic as there is in the city.

The authority was working on this model to help generate revenue on the instructions of the government, the sources said. They said there were no legal hurdles as the LRRA law provided room for the authority to establish commercial zones along the ring road for revenue generation. They said development of the economic zone would also help reduce traffic load within the city.

Punjab Chief Minister’s Adviser Dr Salman Shah said many proposals were under consideration for the project, but he was not aware of the one for the Goods and Logistics Hub. He, however, said the authority has the legal right to consider and proceed with any proposal it deems fit.

Meanwhile, the LRRA sources said the authority was waiting for Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to give time for a concession agreement signing ceremony with the National Logistics Cell (NLC) to commence work on the Southern Loop Three (SL3) Project. The SL3 is an 8km-long loop between Rawind Road and Maraka, Multan Road. The NLC has secured the Rs10 billion SL3 project.

The authority is waiting for finances from the provincial government to proceed with land acquisition for the SL4, where the economic zone will be offered. The estimated cost of land acquisition is Rs3 billion, whereas the total construction cost of the project is estimated at Rs22 billion.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2020.


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