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Govt to lay foundation stone of Lai Expressway soon: Sh Rashid.

RAWALPINDI -- Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Monday said the government would lay foundation stone of Lai Expressway soon as all the arrangements were being finalized to start construction work of the much awaited project as soon as possible.

Talking to media persons here during his visit to Gawalmandi, he said the work was accelerated by the incumbent government to kick off Lai Expressway project but due to negligence of the former rulers, cost of the project had jumped to Rs 70 billion which was around Rs 18 billion when conceived. The project would be constructed on Build-Operate-Transfer basis, he added.

He said, the 23 Expressway would start from the Soan Bridge instead of Ammar Chowk in Chaklala to facilitate maximum population, adding the project would change fate of the citizens particularly living along the Lai Nullah as the citizens would be allowed to construct commercial buildings along the road.

He said, the authorities concerned had devised a plan for preventing flood in Nullah Lai during monsoon season.

The Minister urged the citizens living in the city's low-lying areas near nullahs not to throw solid waste and garbage in the nullah to avoid blockages.

He said citizens should contribute to the sanitation department's efforts regarding cleanliness of the Nullah. Solid waste should only be deposited at specified points, he added.

He said Nullah Lai was being cleared of silt and solid waste and being widened and deepened to save the city from floods.

He informed that all the departments concerned including District Administration, WASA, Rescue-1122, Police, Army and others were alert and had finalized arrangements to cope with flood situation in Nullah Lai.

'The government is working to permanently resolve the issue of flooding in Nullah Lai. Feasibility study of the Lai Expressway project has been completed besides PC-I of the project,' he said.

He informed, under the project, three sewage treatment plants would also be installed on Nullah Lai to treat grey water which would be used in parks, green belts and for other purposes.

To a question, he said the construction work of Rawalpindi Mother and Child Hospital project had been started. The Punjab government had approved two universities and three colleges for Rawalpindi, he added.

Sheikh Rashid said the matters pertaining to up-gradation of Main Line-I (ML-1) from Karachi to Peshawar would be finalized soon.

The up-gradation of 1700 kilometers long ML-1 track would change the entire look of Pakistan Railways and bring economic revolution in the country.

Sheikh Rashid said the railways launched 36 new trains to facilitate maximum number of passengers during last 10 months.

'We increased over six million passengers which can further be enhanced up to 10 million,' he added.

The minister said all out efforts were being made to launch 8.2 billion US dollar, ML-1 project as soon as possible.

To another question, he said the politics of those who were involved in loot and plunder had been exposed before the nation.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Jul 16, 2019
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