Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif will lay the foundation stone of the Elevated Expressway project here today (Thursday).

The decision to inaugurate the project was taken by the CM after taking notice on a report published by ‘The News’ recently regarding delay in inauguration of work on the expressway, well-informed sources said.

The sources said in view of the decision of the Punjab chief minister, Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) Director General Makeen Shahbaz remained busy finalising arrangement for the CM’s visit to the site of the inauguration in Shamsabad on Wednesday.

The RDA officials including personal assistant to the director general confirmed the plan of inauguration by the chief minister on Thursday. However, they failed to confirm the timings of the event. Only the chief minister or his private secretary could tell about the timings, which was not confirmed or decided.

They said maybe the visit of the CM to Rawalpindi is not being disclosed due to security reasons.

The inauguration plan was postponed twice. Makeen Shahbaz on Saturday last had said that inauguration of any project by any chief minister is not necessary. He had also said that practical work i.e. construction on Elevated Expressway would commence only after completion of the designing and study work which would take three months.

The total cost of the project has also been enhanced by Rs2 billion with the alterations made in the project. First the Punjab government had allocated Rs15 billion for this mega project. However, when the project has been extended from Mareer Chowk to Mall Road, the cost has also rise to Rs17 billion.

The release of the funds related to the project would be made in phases and would be completed in two years. The main objective behind it is to resolve problem of traffic suspensions on Murree Road, which remains for most part of the day.

The major component of the project includes construction of flyover from Mall Road to Faizabad. However, it is believed that the construction of flyover would end in Shamsabad (inauguration site) from Mall Road instead of Faizabad, an official of RDA said, on condition of anonymity. Moreover, he said that the completion of work on Elevated Expressway depends on the availability of funds. If the amount is released without any delay, work on it would be completed on scheduled time.

Source: The News