LAHORE – Due to severe financial crunch, the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) is in troubled water while arranging funds for the construction of ‘Canal Flyovers Project’, particularly after the announcement made by Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif on the occasion of foundation stone laying ceremony previous day that CDG will provide funds for the project, sources informed The Nation on Thursday.

The sources in CDG further informed that District Coordination Officer Ahad Cheema reluctantly told the CM during a meeting that CDG was already in financial crises due to low income and limited resources with this small body and it would has to face a lot of hardships for arranging such a huge amount of about Rs 3.50 billion (estimated cost), required for the construction of Wahdat Road junction and Canal Flyover.

Earlier, the Punjab CM announced this after consulting the District Administration and other high ranking officers of different departments of City Government, the sources further informed adding that during the meeting, the DCO also tried to convince the CM to use substitute resources for arranging funds for the construction of flyovers instead of overburdening CDG because the body currently is not in a position to arrange funds for the purpose.

However, Director General Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Abdul Jabbar Shaheen told the CM that the LDA authorities would try their best to arrange funds for the purpose through auction of the plots and land available with the department in proposed Expo Center at Johar Town which could be major a source of producing funds for the completion of proposed flyovers, they added.

He further informed the meeting that he is visualizing such piece of land of about 1123 canals (fixed for the construction of a five star hotel and super store) and income collected from auction of such plots could be a major contribution in the required amount for the completion of proposed flyovers project because the department is expecting collection of huge amount of over Rs 2 billion through the auction.

He assured the CM that the process for the auction of such precious piece of land would soon be completed.
However, the concerned quarters also seemed reluctant to comment on the subject matter particularly regarding the provision of the funds for the project while DCO Ahad Cheema was not available for his version.

On the other hand, the officials of C&W department and the contractor firm are going to start work formally on the project on Friday (today), following the instructions of CM and according to the given schedule for the project.

The Project Director of the proposed flyover Sabir Khan said while talking to The Nation that entire project including design of flyovers, its feasibility and substitute traffic plan is ready and administration is going to start work on the project by starting patchwork of linking roads around the project site in order to ensure making the flow of traffic smooth. “Estimated 427260 vehicles ply on the road daily and the foolproof traffic diversion plan would ensure smooth flow of traffic despite such a huge traffic saddle, he said adding that the maps of substitute traffic routs would soon be installed on the linking roads.

He said that construction work on the proposed flyover of about 1.32 kilometer long, would be erected from the wall of the Police Training School, adjacent to the Main Ferozpur Road (situated opposite of the PCSIR Lab) ending at WAPDA Hospital, crossing Rehmanpura Road (Ichra) and would be completed by 23rd of March 2012. He said the width of the main flyover would be 11 meters while the width of Wahdat Road Junction would be 7 to 10 meter (about two and half lanes).

As many as 59 pillars would be included in the structure of the proposed project of such two flyovers, he added.

He said that the project has been evolved for the construction of canal flyover at Ferozepur Road and its implementation will not only help making the road a signal free corridor but also streamline traffic coming from all sides of the city.