Construction of Lahore’s Bund Road to be delayed again

The progress of Lahore’s Bund Road project is being hampered due to administrative hurdles and pending payments to contractors, leading to delay in the completion of the project.

The Bund Road, costing Rs15 billion, is aimed at improving traffic flow, but work has been stalled due to pending bills to contractors. Moreover, the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) is yet to approve the revised cost estimate, which includes land acquisition for the service road.

According to a source, the funds released by the government for the project have not yet reached the LDA as the transfer process is stuck at the Punjab Accountant General’s office in Lahore.

The government launched this project in the third quarter of 2022 to address the poor condition, traffic congestion, and pollution of the Bund Road. After conducting several studies, the government opted to rehabilitate the major external artery, the Bund Road, using innovative methods.

In September, caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi laid the foundation stone for the Rs 11.3 billion controlled access corridor project. Later, the project cost rose to Rs 15 billion due to land acquisition requirements for the service road.

The revised cost estimate was sent to the government, which finally got approval. The government directed the LDA to send the estimate to EKNEC for approval through the concerned departments.

According to the source, after the new PML-N government came to power, the concerned departments such as Planning and Development and Finance requested to share the revised cost estimates with the newly appointed heads of the LDA and Housing Department for their awareness and approval.

However, the estimate is still awaiting approval from the top management of the LDA. “How can the project move ahead if the officials are not interested in it?” he questioned. “Everything, including the approval of the revised estimate, is stuck in the LDA.”

He expressed concern that if the funds were not received soon and the revised estimate was not approved and submitted to Ecnec within a few days, the project, which was already delayed by three months, could be delayed by another two months.

LDA Director General Tahir Farooq clarified that work on the project has not stopped but its progress is slow due to lack of funds.

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