The much-anticipated Rawalpindi master plan, slated for completion this month, is facing delays as authorities have managed only to finalize the land classification map, marking the first step in the comprehensive planning process. The district administration and the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) set an ambitious deadline but are now seeking input from stakeholders after the approval of the land classification map by the District Planning and Design Committee.
Rawalpindi Master Plan Consultant and Project Details
The project, titled ‘Regional Development Plan for District Rawalpindi and Peri-Urban Structure Plans for Tehsils of Rawalpindi District (excluding Rawalpindi tehsil),’ was awarded to Mott Macdonald Pakistan (MMP) Company on December 16, 2020. The agreement, signed on December 24, 2020, allocated approximately Rs50 million for the 12-month project duration. In September of this year, MMP’s completion period was extended by three months.
The consultant, MMP, has finalized ‘land use classification plans’ for all six tehsils: Gujar Khan, Kallar Syedan, Taxila, Murree, Kotli Sattian, and Kahuta. However, the declaration of Murree as a new district led to a pause in work for Murree and Kotli Sattian, with only master plans for Gujar Khan, Kallar Syedan, Taxila, and Kahuta moving forward for approval.
Local government administrators in Rawalpindi have given their consent for the master plan preparation in their respective areas. The district administration, through the deputy commissioner’s office, has requested a meeting with stakeholders. Letters have been dispatched to government bodies, NGOs, business organizations, individuals, and others to ensure comprehensive consultation.
Future Steps and Economic Zone Planning
Upon completion of the land classification map, the consultant will prepare a development plan reflecting the new classification for Rawalpindi district based on settlement areas. This plan will consider the needs of the population for the next 20 years. The Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) is poised to initiate the establishment of an economic zone around Rawalpindi Ring Road post-master plan completion. The plan will guide the allocation of industrial units, ensuring business activities are confined to designated areas.
Rawalpindi’s first master plan dates back to 1968 when the city served as an interim federal capital. However, subsequent shifts of government offices to Islamabad left the plan unenforced. Nearly three decades later, another master plan was devised for the period 1996 to 2016 by a board of officials. The current initiative aims to provide a robust roadmap for Rawalpindi’s development in the coming years.