RAWALPINDI: Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) is set to launch the Rs18 billion Ring Road Project in the last week of August this year.

Sources told Daily Times on Monday that the feasibility study would be started in March and completed within five months. Three firms have been short-listed for the feasibility that would be contracted out to the successful firm within next two weeks.

The firm would be asked to also conduct feasibility on the Economic Zone along Ring Road to promote and encourage industrial growth. The Punjab government has allocated Rs20 million for the feasibility studies on Ring Road and Economic Zone.

Around 1,084 acres would be purchased for construction of road and another 1,050 acres for the Economic Zone. Each affected person or family would get half kanal land in the Economic Zone in compensation for every four kanals.

Project history: The project, approved by the PML-N government in the Punjab in 1998, was awarded to an Australian company but it could not be launched due to the Oct 18, 1999 military coup.

The firm had the first design of the four-land Ring Road in hand but continuous delay allowed massive constructions in the project area.

The sources said that there was a growing awareness among the Pindi residents that any further delay in the launch of the project would worsen the city’s traffic problem leading to a virtual jamming of traffic on almost all roads.

According to a traffic study conducted by RDA, around 0.2 million vehicles with around 0.8 million commuters on board will not have to pass through the traffic jungle on Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Road, Airport Road and IJ Principal Road after the completion of the project. The road would provide over 1.50 million people with an easy access to Islamabad and New Islamabad Airport.

It would also contribute towards minimizing environmental degradation and cutting down consumption of fuel most of which goes down the drain while standing in never-ending traffic snarls. aamir yasin

Sorce: Daily Times.