ISLAMABAD: The Asain Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) has delisted the Rawalpindi Ring Road project from its financing list.
AIIB was considering investing $402million out of $459m for the project; however, sources said that the bank has crossed out the project from its financing plan owing to issues in acquiring land and establishing a project management unit.
When contacted, AIIB said that it has ‘paused’ the preparation of the project, however the bank remains strongly committed to support the development and modernisation of the transport infrastructure in Pakistan.
The prime minister had also performed ground-breaking of the six lane ring road starting from Radio Pakistan at Rawat to Halqa Interchange at motorway, whihc would also connect to Margalla Highway through Sangjani, on April 20, 2020.
Later, the premier ordered a probe into alleged changes in the project which increased the cost by Rs25bn to Rs65bn.
Sources said that some portion of the ‘crime scene’, especially Haqla to Sangjani, consists of a zigzag shape which was added later and the inquiry team under the supervision of commissioner Rawalpindi is probing on whose behest, the original plan has been changed.
“The team acquired all related documents from the Punjab Land Records Authority (PLRA) that it emerged that influential people including some politicians purchased land alongside the the area that was redesigned,” they added.
The government wants to finance this project through public private partnership (PPP). |
Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister, Salman Shah, said that alignments and designs are the the executing agency’s responsibility.
Interestingly, housing societies have donated 246.7 kanals of land for the project free of cost while the Punjab government has also acquired land at the cost of Rs5 to Rs6 billion for the project.
It is pertinent to mention here that Commissioner Rawalpindi, Gulzar Hussain Shah, on April 27, 2021 cancelled the bidding process for the third time when the Punjab chief minister directed him to submit an inquiry report in 10 days.