Lahore, the second-largest city in Pakistan, has to face tremendous traffic. Because of this, the idea of developing the Ring Road in the city came up. Therefore, in 2004, Nespak was appointed for route selection. It was agreed that the Ring Road would be split into three sections named Northern Loop (from Gulshan-e-Ravi to Sui Gas Society) 40km, Southern Loop (from Sui Gas Society to Sharaqpur Road) 37km, and Western Loop (from the southern end to Gulshan e Ravi) 26km.

Construction of the Northern Loop was completed by July 2011, but construction of the Southern loop faced many problems.

The Southern Loop is further sub-divided into four sections. The construction of the Southern Loop will be done in different parts for financial and administrative reasons. The first two sections, SL-1 and SL-2 didn’t face many challenges and were completed within the given time. In the third section, SL-3 met many project management issues. This section of Southern Pool is 8.0km long with interchanges, and its estimated cost has increased with time. Ideally, this project needs to end by 2018, before the tenure of Nawaz Sharif’s Government. The main reason for the delay in the project is that this loop would pass through the housing society of an influential property baron.

The primary issue Bahria Town will face because of this lope’s passage is security, and because of this, many investors and buyers will lose the charm causing the land price to fall. A series of issues arose in the building for this loop. Before this housing scheme issue, land acquisition was the primary issue. The officials with Lahore Ring Road Authority complained that they had been given 8 million rupees for buying land, but they were not allowed to use it. Over time, the project’s cost kept increasing, and now it’s around 15 billion.

Several project management issues arise during the construction of the SL-3 section. During the alignment of Southern Loop SL-3, the communication with the stakeholders was missing because when contacted by the Provincial Housing and Urban Development Minister, he said he was unaware of the issue. This was the primary reason for the delay in the construction of the SL-3 section because senior officials mentioned that the delay was only happening to accommodate the housing schemes.

IZAAN AHMAD,

Lahore.