LAHORE – Lahore Ring Road, a brain child of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, has become more than a mystery as no body even the execution agencies involved in the construction of the project as well as authorities concerned
know Ring Road’s final design, total length, completion road map, exact cost, sections, interchanges and its benefits.

Under fiscal year 2009-10, government has allocated Rs 22 billion for the first phase of around 43 km length of LRR (which is yet to be finalised) after dividing it into four sections – North Loop (civil work), North Loop (land acquisition), South Loop (civil work), and South Loop (land acquisition). Around 30 per cent work of first phase from Niazi interchange to Saggian Bridge and New Airport has been completed. Rest of the work is underway but there is big question mark over its completion timeframe.

Second phase of LRR also carries a greatuncertainty, as government itself does not know what will be its total length and when it will be started and completed.

The LRR is true model of enigma. As far its is concerned, it has been changed five times in 1991, 2000-01, 1997, 2004 and 1998. Still talks are going on to finalise its length.

In 1991, JICA, an institution of Japan, had proposed a road-loop in the City and the World Bank prepared a feasibility report on a 60 km Ring Road. However, the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif got the road design amended in 1997 to include Raiwind Road, where his family had built its farm houses proposing the road length of 75 km. After the Nawaz government was toppled in an army coup, the LDA and TEPA in 2000-01 proposed the 78-kilometre road. Afterwards, the then Punjab CM Pervaiz Elahi announced to construct 77-km road with 6-lane carriageway in 2004. With Shahbaz-led government in Punjab, LRR was redesigned with 80 km proposed length in 2008.

The LRR’s design was ammended repeatedly as the road road’s length faced innumerable changes. Initially it had to pass through GT Road, Bund Road, Sanda, Babu Sabu, Multan Road, Raiwind Road, Kahna Distributary, Ferozepur Road, Khaaire Distributary and Canal Road.

Source: The Nation