LAHORE: In 2017, Lahore Development Authority (LDA) kept its focus on transport and road infrastructure projects. The year remained one of the busiest for the city developer as it initiated development projects worth Rs18 billion in the provincial capital.
Most of these projects are near the stage of completion, except a few, as the Punjab government has aligned completion of its all major infrastructure projects ahead of the 2018 general elections.
Though a lot of time has been consumed in litigation and stay orders, the authority has completed around 80% of the civil works of metro train project successfully during 2017.
Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMA) officials say that once the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project is completed, it will provide a safe and efficient public transport facility to around 250,000 commuters on a daily basis.
It is the star project of Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif but opposition parties and citizens who have to face forced relocation are unhappy by this development. Though, the government has paid relocation compensation to almost all families whose properties were acquired for this mega project they still complain about insufficient cash payout.
Official date released by the LDA shows the authority has completed Canal Road Expansion Project from Thokar Niaz Baig to Doctors Hospital and Upper Mall to Harbanspura with an estimated cost of Rs7 billion. The deepest and the longest, Beijing Underpass, is also completed with a sum of Rs3.6 billion as part of the Canal Road Expansion Project in 2017. After completion of this project, the city developer has made 23-kilometre stretch of the Canal Road (from Thokar Niaz Baig to Harbanspura) a signal-free corridor.
The authority has also completed Guru Mangat Railway Crossing Underpass with an estimated cost of Rs500 million during last year. It is the first signal controlled underpass in the city in which traffic enters and exits from three sides.
The LDA has also initiated construction of 11 sports complexes in 11 constituencies of the National Assembly with a sum of Rs7 billion. Grey structure of these sports complexes will be completed by next month while finishing works will be completed during the first quarter of 2018.
The authority has also initiated development of Lahore Grand Bazaar in Johar Town with an estimated cost of Rs150 million. This 130 kanal bazaar will have double-storey shops based on Mughal, Italian and Chinese architecture themes. The bazaar will be completed during the first half of 2018.
The LDA also initiated paperwork for the construction of 25-storey commercial project, Twin Towers, in 2017. The city developer has already started process for pre-qualification of contractors.
The development works of a residential project, LDA City (Phase-1), has also been started in 2017. The authority has earmarked Rs2 billion for development works of this scheme in its budget. A proposal for construction of a flyover at the junction of Khayaban-e-Firdousi, Khayaban-e-Jinnah and Nazriya Pakistan Road with an estimated cost of Rs940 million has been submitted.
On revenue side, the authority collected over Rs2.75 billion on account of commercialisation fee during 2017.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2018.
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