Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday laid the foundation stone of 22.2 kilometre-long Lahore Ring Road Southern Loop Project which will be completed in a year.
At least six interchanges, 18 bridges and 19 sub ways will also been constructed on it.
Addressing on the occasion, the chief minister said that the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Lahore Ring Road Southern Loop Project on Independence Day is a step towards strengthening Pakistan and Punjab economically. He said that socio-economic activities will boost in Lahore and Punjab with the completion of this project.
He appreciated the performance of Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) DG Major General Muhammad Afzal in laying the foundation stone of the project. Sharif said that when he was elected as chief minister of the province first time in 1998, FWO and National Logistics Cell (NLC) were first introduced for infrastructure projects in Punjab.
He said that the performance of private sector with regard to infrastructure projects was very unsatisfactory at that time. The chief minister said he is happy that the decisions made 18 years ago have yielded good results. Although development process was reverse geared during some pervious tenures, in spite that new culture of quality, hard work, honesty and transparency was introduced. An environment of competition was created due to FWO and NLC, he added.
He said that FWO constructed the main boulevard road in Gulberg in 1998, which was recently reconstructed after 18 years due to signal free corridor. The road constructed 18 years ago reflected hard work and honesty, he added. Sharif expressed the hope that construction work of Lahore Ring Road Southern Loop Project will be of international standard with regard to transparency and quality.
The chief minister said that some projects remained suspended in the past in Pakistan but Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government has introduced the culture of completing the projects within or before the stipulated period while ensuring quality.
He said that when Major Afzal assumed the charge of FWO DG, this institution made great progress. He thanked Major Afzal, his team, Lahore Ring Road Authority Chairperson Commissioner Abdullah Sumbal and his team due to whose efforts the foundation stone of the project has been laid today.
Sharif said that this is a big project of Punjab government and FWO under public private partnership. He said that today when the nation is celebrating 70th Independence Day, we have to pledge for the construction and development of the country. He said that we have to make such a developed and transparent Pakistan which will be respected by the friends and foes.
A briefing was given to the chief minister about important features of the project. Speaking on the occasion, Major Afzal said that construction of Lahore Ring Road Southern Loop Project will result in facilitating the citizens and this project reflects development vision of Chief Minister Sharif. We will come up to the confidence of Chief Minister Punjab, he added. Arrangements have been made for the execution of this project before the stipulated period, he said.
He said that had Chief Minister Sharif not taken interest in this project, this project would have been only on papers today. He thanked the chief minister on taking personal interest in the project.
Lahore Ring Road Authority Chairperson Commissioner Sumbal said that construction of Lahore Ring Road Southern Loop is the biggest project in the history of Punjab under public private partnership and it will be completed within a year.
Provincial Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, National and Provincial Members Assembly, Khwaja Ahmed Hasaan, government officers concerned and senior officials of FWO were present on the occasion.