LAHORE:Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has announced an elevated expressway from Gulberg to Lahore-Islamabad Motorway with an estimated cost of Rs50 billion besides several other road infrastructure development schemes for the provincial capital.
He made the announcement while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Gulab Devi Underpass on Ferozpur Road on Monday. He announced naming of the underpass after acclaimed philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi.
The chief minister underlined that the full-height three-lane underpass, costing Rs60 million, would ease the movement of over 132,000 vehicles and help save millions of rupees annually on account of fuel wasted during traffic congestion. It will benefit patients of the Gulab Devi, Children, Social Security and General Hospitals, he added.
He highlighted that the Abdul Sattar Edhi Underpass had been completed two months before the deadline, for which the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general and governing body deserved accolades. The government had also saved millions of rupees by ensuring transparency in the project, he maintained
Speaking to the media, the chief minister also announced renaming of the Gulberg to Jail Road flyover after renowned poet Munir Niazi.
He disclosed that Rs6.5 billion would be spent to construct multilevel entry and exit points at Shahdara Morr to ease traffic congestion at the main entrance to the city.
He pointed out that the LDA had completed four major projects with Rs2.45 billion to improve traffic flow by building the Lal Shehbaz Qalandar Underpass and Bab-e-Lahore, working to eliminate congestion points on major roads and constructing pedestrian bridges at suitable places.
Meanwhile, an additional lane is being built at Lahore Bridge near Children Hospital and Data Ganj Bakhsh Flyover with Rs4.9 billion. A sum of Rs2.54 billion would be spent on Shahkam Chowk Flyover, the expansion of Sagian Road will be completed with Rs3.4 billion and the Main Boulevard to Defence Chowk road will be made signal free with Rs3 billion. An underpass and flyover at Karim Block will be built with Rs2.9 billion.
Chief Minister Buzdar said the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project was also completed by the incumbent government by arranging necessary funding, like other incomplete projects of the previous government.
The past government conceived projects without caring for the welfare of the people and subsidies to the tune of billions of rupees had to be given to run them, he claimed. The public transport scheme should have been finalised after proper study. A large amount was being given to six projects as subsidy, including the OLMT, metro bus and feeder route system, he further said and pointed out that the income of those projects was minimal.
Replying to a media query, the chief minister said the Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) would perform well in the second phase of local bodies’ elections in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
He said the local bodies elections in Punjab would be held directly and a bill had been presented in the provincial assembly in this regard. The public representatives would be empowered and the government would perform well in Punjab, he asserted.
In reply to a question, he maintained that the work done by Education Minister Murad Raas in three years was not matched during the previous 70 years. The minister has introduced important changes like e-transfer, e-leave and e-pension, while upgrading 1,500 schools. Another 8,000 schools will be upgraded during ongoing financial year while a total of 27,000 schools would be upgraded in the next two years, he said and added that the past government had upgraded 1,500 schools in five years.