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New road, PR land acquisition increase cost of Kahna Kachcha Flyover

New road, PR land acquisition increase cost of Kahna Kachcha Flyover

LAHORE: The cost to be incurred on land and structure acquisition and other ancillary services for construction of the Kahna Kachcha Flyover has doubled in the revised PC-I of the project.

The cost has increased massively keeping in view an access road to LDA City and its extension up to Hadyara Drain as well as acquisition of 25 kanals belonging to Pakistan Railways to cater to the probable traffic increase, Dawn learnt.

The project, which will be launched at the Railway Line Crossing on Defence Road at Kahna Kachcha Railway Station, is a part of the Lahore Urban Transport Master Plan 2011-2030. The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) claims the project is one of the major structural roads in the southern part of the city district and will help avoid traffic congestion and blockades owing to frequent closure of railway line.

According to official documents, the Rs9.7 billion project would be built on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis under public-private partnership.

“An unsolicited proposal for the development of this flyover under public-private partnership was submitted by a joint venture of two private construction firms. It offered to finance and complete the project within 12 months and the firms would get its money back by collecting toll from motorists in 25 years,” according to an internal report.

It states the diversion of public utility and services and land acquisition are the jobs of LDA that it has to cover with its own resources. The report mentions that keeping in view the probable traffic increase and to make it smooth the government planned to construct roads, including an access road to LDA City, to link major thoroughfares, intersections and diversions, leading to an increase in the cost.

“Since 25 kanals of railway land worth Rs42.5 million has also been incorporated for acquisition in the project, the cost has increased from Rs351.22 million to Rs638.38 million,” the report stated.

After preliminary surveys the cost for removal, relocation or diversion of utility services has also jumped from Rs72 million to Rs171 million.

The report elaborates mechanism for collecting toll, arrangements and exemptions. Under the agreement, rights for collecting toll will be given to construction firms after successful completion of the project. Respective agencies would issue completion and No-Objection Certificates to the firms prior to starting collecting toll from motorists. The toll collection arrangements will be computerised. Vehicles such as fire brigades, ambulances and those bearing court flags will be exempted from the toll.

Talking to Dawn, LDA Urban Development Wing Chief Engineer Israr Saeed claimed although the cost of the project had increased, it would help people travel smoothly on or under the flyover. He said currently the LDA had started work to acquire land and shift the utility services.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2015

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