Scores of infrastructure development projects have been completed in every nook and corner of Punjab during the past six years. Journey to the goal of progress and prosperity continues under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif as a number of such schemes are kicked off every day for improving the living standards and prosperity of the people of the province.
The two most significant features of these unprecedented development projects are transparency in the utilization of funds and fast track execution of work at sites. While PPRA Rules and other procedural formalities are strictly followed by the executing agencies without relaxing and procedure, Transparency International and other such organizations also keep a vigilant eye on disbursement of funds for these projects. It is credit for the leadership that no irregularity has been pointed out in this regard by any one. Transparency International has rather certified judicious utilization of funds for these projects on a number of occasions.
Speedy completion of these development projects in minimum possible time has testified the commitment and resolve of the government for providing relief to the people. Construction of Lahore Metro Bus Project in just 11 months, building of Walton Flyover in just 70 days and now accomplishment of Azadi Chowk Signal Free Junction in record 165 days has proved that human effort can create wonders. Miracles are not required to change the destiny of the people, it is the human effort which can change fate of the people.
For timely completion of these projects 24/7 work culture has been introduced, work continues in extreme weather and even on Eid holidays the work does not stop.
This dedication to work is the main reason behind this success storey for early completion of these projects. The latest example is the completion of Azadi Chowk Signal Free Junction.
On the directions of Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Lahore Development Authority completed construction of clubbed projects of Azadi Chowk Signal Free Junction and new Circular Road Projects in a record time of 165 days at a total cost of Rs. 5.35 billion.
Ahad Khan Cheema Cheema, already well known for his efficient execution of huge public service projects and acclaimed for his public service endavours, accepted this challenge as well and led his team to work day and night for timely completion of this project.
Work on the Azadi Chowk Signal Free Junction was started by Traffic Engineering and Transportation Planning Agency (TEPA) LDA on January 15 this year which has been completed at a cost of Rs. 4.5 billion on 29 June.
A flyover and an elevated roundabout have been constructed under this project at Ravi Road. The roundabout has three up-ramps and three down-ramps; two up-ramps and two down-ramps on Ravi Road, starting from Texali Chowk and ending at Timber Market and vice versa. One up-ramp and a down-ramp have also been constructed on Ahmad Ali Road. The overall length of the interchange is 2.53 kilometer.
Traffic leading to Circular Road from Data Darbar, Shahdara and Timber Market will use this flyover for going to Maulana Ahmed Ali Road, Lorry Adda and other points at Circular Road. On average, over two hundred thousand vehicles will daily pass through this junction, saving fuel of Rs 9 million per annum.
New Circlular Road was also part of this project, which has been completed at a cost of Rs 1.35 billion. Total length of this road is 1.6 kilometer. This dual carriage way is 14.7 meters wide on each side. Each side comprises of four lanes and every lane is 3.3 meter wide. A roundabout and two U-turns were also made on this road. This new road was started from Maulana Ahmed Ali Road and then connects Minar-e-Pakistan, Lorry Adda, Badami Bagh, Masti Gate and Circular Road.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif inaugurated the signal-free Azadi Chowk flyover and alternative route of new Circular Road on Sunday July 13, 2014. Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Shahbaz Sharif said Azadi Chowk Project was completed in a short period of less than six months.
He said not only best travelling facilities will be available from it but precious time will be saved. Metro bus will also pass through it without wasting any time. He expressed the confidence that this project will play an important role in the economic development of the people as well as enhancing beauty of Lahore.
Great national monuments including Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort and Minar-e-Pakistan will also be saved from environmental pollution.
Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated alternative route of Circular Road.
He also took round of Circular Road and flyover and appreciated the standard of the project.
(The writer, Ather Ali Khan, is director-general public relation, Punjab) (Courtesy: The News)