As the year draws to a close, Rawalpindi stands at a critical juncture, grappling with the uncertain fate of five major projects in road infrastructure and healthcare. These projects in Rawalpindi, crucial for public welfare, are either languishing incomplete or teetering on the brink of transfer to the next year, presenting a grim scenario for the community.
Projects in Rawalpindi
Among the stalled initiatives, the Leh Expressway and Flood Channel project, initiated in the aftermath of the devastating 2005 floods, remains a symbol of delayed progress. The project, aimed at providing an alternative traffic route and addressing flooding issues from Nullah Leh, has faced numerous setbacks. Despite its vital importance, the project’s fate now hangs in the balance pending approval by authorities, with decisions likely to be influenced by the outcome of the 2024 general elections.
The Kachehri Chowk flyover project, allocated a substantial Rs5 billion for infrastructure remodelling, has faced inexplicable delays despite receiving approval from the Punjab government. Envisioned as a solution to traffic congestion at one of the city’s busiest intersections, the project has unfortunately remained untouched, adding to the frustration of Rawalpindi residents.
The Rawalpindi Ring Road project, spanning an impressive 38.5km, was initiated by former premier Imran Khan. While progress is underway, the completion date remains uncertain, contingent upon the decisions and priorities of the incoming government.
The Mother and Child Hospital, conceptualized in 2002 to alleviate the strain on Pindi’s main hospitals, has encountered its fair share of hurdles. Hindered by intermittent governmental support, the project, which resumed in 2018, faced another setback following a no-confidence motion against the prime minister. The initial estimated cost of Rs3 billion has surged to Rs9 billion, with completion delayed by 10 to 15 percent, leaving residents questioning the efficiency of the project’s execution.
The Rawalpindi Institute of Urology and Kidney Transplantation (RIUT), initiated in 2012, remains incomplete despite the conclusion of its construction in 2005. Operating without kidney transplant services, the hospital’s limited offerings have sparked concerns, especially with the caretaker Punjab government’s decision to transfer supervision to the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute in Lahore. This move raises worries about increased expenses for patients seeking kidney transplants, as doctors express concerns about the potential financial burden on patients.
The outlook for these projects remains uncertain, casting a shadow over Rawalpindi residents who eagerly await positive developments in the year ahead. As the city faces these challenges, the hope is that the necessary actions will be taken to ensure the timely completion of these projects, bringing much-needed relief to the community.