PTI govt fails to uplift compete major projects

Work on Ring Road, Leh Expressway hit snags


Jamil Mirza August 31, 2021

RAWALPINDI:

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Punjab government has failed to complete any major project in Rawalpindi during the first three years of it.

The Ring Road project was mired by a corruption scandal while work on the much-touted Expressway project could not be started either. No other mega projects in health, education, road infrastructure and water supply sectors could materialise in the PTI-led provincial government tenure.

Work on the Islamabad-Rawalpindi metro bus project, the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC) and the Rawalpindi Institute of Urology and Kidney Transplant (RIUKT) was completed during the tenure of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz previous government.

Besides this, different departments of three allied hospitals of Rawalpindi were also built during the PML-N’s tenure while different sports projects in educational institutions were also completed.

After winning the general election in 2018, the PTI government had announced to complete different vital and pending projects in Rawalpindi including Ring Road, Leh Expressway, Ghazi Barotha dam, preparation of the master plan for Rawalpindi, parking plazas, and others, however, no work could be started on none of the projects.

The PTI provincial government is only working on the construction of a mother-child hospital in Rawalpindi and even work on this project is going on at a snail’s pace.

The PTI-led government could not build a new hospital in the city despite the heavy patients’ load in the three allied hospitals of Rawalpindi. Government schools and colleges have also become overcrowded because of the increasing number of students, and no new educational institution could be built during all these three years.

No progress has been made on plans to make Mareed Chowk, Kutchery Chowk and Defence Chowk single-free intersections. Work on the remodelling of Ammar Chowk has been started after the Punjab government released Rs1 billion in recent months.

No major public park could be built in Rawalpindi in the last three years, and the project of constructing a model graveyard on the outskirts of the city is also in the doldrums. Work on the construction of the RDA complex and a housing society could not be started.

However, the PTI government has successfully completed projects like a one-window operation system in Rawalpindi Development Authority and the Miyawaki forest on a three-kanal of land along Nullah Leh. In addition, kitchen gardening projects have successfully been implemented. The rainwater harvesting pilot project for ablution and gardening in mosques has also been completed, however.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Parliamentary Secretary for Narcotics Sheikh Rashid Shafiq said that the land acquisition file of Leh Expressway was on the table of the Punjab chief minister.

He said that the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) will soon get Rs2 billion for the first phase of the project.

Shafiq said that the land acquisition of Ghazi Barotha dam is underway and Rs15 billion tender has been released to FWO.

The lawmaker said that the extension of Ammar Shaheed Chowk is underway while Post Graduate Women’s College on Sixth Road has got the status of a university.

He said that the recovered four kanal property of the Evacuee Trust has been earmarked for a girls’ college and another 11-kanal land in the Commercial Market has been handed over to the education department for building a girls’ college.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2021.

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