Rawalpindi Lai Expressway officially approved by Prime Minister

Prime Minister Imran Khan has officially approved the Nullah Lai project and the formal work on this development initiative would start from today (Friday).

The approval was granted during a meeting held on Thursday with PM Imran Khan in the chair, wherein a detailed briefing on the Nullah Lai expansion project was given.

The Nullah Lai Expressway Project worth Rs 75 billion will be completed in two years under the Public Private Partnership (PPP).

The PM, while approving the project, directed the officials concerned to complete the zoning of the concerned area and ensure changes in relevant by-laws so that commercial and multi-storey buildings could be constructed along both sides of the Nullah Lai Expressway.

The meeting was attended by the Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Senior Officers including Chairman RDA, Raja Tariq Murtaza.

The Punjab Chief Minister’s Advisor Dr Salman Shah and the Provincial Chief Secretary also attended the meeting via Video Link.

The project would be completed in two years under the public-private partnership mode. The expressway would be constructed on both sides of the Nullah Lai; two malls would also be built on state land.

The flood channel will solve the issue of flooding in the city during monsoon.

PM Imran further directed the officials to immediately start work on the project, which, according to him, would be a milestone in the transformation of Rawalpindi.

“The Nullah Lai expansion project is very important for Rawalpindi as it will safeguard the residents from flood situations,” he said, noting that the people of Rawalpindi have been facing various problems for the last many years due to an increase in the city’s population.

PM Imran Khan said the Ring Road and Nullah Lai expansion projects would boost investment and economic activities in the city.

In the meeting, a detailed briefing was also given to the prime minister on the Rawalpindi Ring Road Project.

After the meeting, Sheikh Rashid said work on the project will begin in a month, adding initially Rs30 billion will be spent on it.

He said commercial buildings, restaurants, hotels and roads will be constructed along the expressway. “After completion of the project, people will see a new and planned Rawalpindi,”.

Commissioner retired Capt Mohammad Mehmood, who is the project director, told Dawn that the prime minister was informed about the plan to attract investors.

“Two shopping plazas will be constructed on state land near Rialto Cinema measuring 35 kanals and secondly we would end the curve of the nullah at Kattarian bridge where more than 50 kanals has been kept for commercial purposes. After this, total length of the expressway would be 16.5 kms without any curve,” he said.

It may be mentioned that 1,604 houses fall in the right of way of Leh Expressway and 1,279 kanals is to be acquired – 1,035.9 kanals of private land, 132.4 kanals owned by Military Engineering and Works, 54.7 kanals owned by Chaklala Cantonment Board and 56 kanals owned by Rawalpindi Cantonment Board.

Meanwhile, Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has approved a proposal for Leh Nullah Expressway and sent it to the Public Private Partnership Authority Punjab.

The feasibility study and master planning for special economic zones along Ring Road has also been approved. The decision was taken at the 52nd meeting of the RDA governing body chaired by RDA Chairman Tariq Mehmood Murtaza.

Chief Minister visited Rawalpindi to inspect progress of Lai Expressway


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