LAHORE: Construction work on the southern loop of the Lahore Ring Road (LRR) could start as early as April if the Punjab government can get funding from the Chinese government, The Express Tribune has learnt.
An official in the Project Management Unit (PMU) said that the provincial government is negotiating with the Chinese for funds for the project.
“We are hopeful that by April funding will be approved and then work can start immediately on the southern loop,” said the official.
Punjab government spokesman Senator Pervaiz Rasheed said various proposals for funding and construction of the road were under consideration. “The offers are being evaluated. Nothing has been finalised yet,” he said.
According to the feasibility study for the project, conducted by the National Engineering Services of Pakistan (Nespak), the 48.2-km southern loop of the Ring Road will cost some Rs27 billion to build.
Another Rs22 billion is needed for the acquisition of land, the PMU official said.
The project would involve the construction of a six-lane divided carriageway, interchanges, road bridges, reinforced earth abutments, overhead pedestrian bridges, culverts, sub-ways, underpasses, flyovers and related works.
The feasibility report divides the loop into four phases. Phase 1 is an 8.7-km section from the Sui Gas Society near Defence Housing Authority to Gajju Mata on Ferozepur Road; Phase 2 is a 13-km section from Gajju Mata to Adda Plot, Raiwind Road; Phase 3 is an 8-km section from Adda Plot to Marraka, Multan Road; and Phase 4 a 15-km section to Babu Sabu, from where the road will be linked to the Motorway. A 3.5-km link road from Babu Sabu to Gulshan-i-Ravi will also be constructed.
The southern loop will have six interchanges. The first will be at Gajju Mata, the second at Halloki, the third at Adda Plot, the fourth at Multan Road, the fifth at the Motorway link and the last at Babu Sabu near Gulshan-i-Ravi. At least 30 pedestrian subways are also to be built.
“The PMU will make sure that the project is completed within three years of its commencement,” said the PMU official.
The northern loop of the Ring Road, which is almost finished, will be able to accommodate 100,000 vehicles a day, he said.
He said no road project in Pakistan matched the quality of the Ring Road.
He said every society divided by the road had been provided with service lanes, pedestrian bridges and under passes.
He said the PMU had returned at least Rs16 billion to the Punjab government after land acquisition for the northern loop.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2011.