Economic uncertainty impacts Rawalpindi's Ring Road project.

RAWALPINDI -- Political and economic uncertainty in the country has also hit the much-delayed Rawalpindi Ring Road (R3) project, as the provincial administration has failed to call a bid to hire a foreign consultant for the third-party validation of the optimal route alignment for the R3 project.

'For the bidding process, the invitation for applications has to be published in foreign newspapers, and we need dollars to pay for these ads,' a senior official of the Punjab government told Dawn.

Similarly, after the bidding process, the selected firm would also need to be paid in dollars, but due to a shortage of dollars in the country, it seems the project would not start in the ongoing year, he added.

However, in case, the State Bank approved the Punjab government's request for dollars to publish advertisement in foreign newspapers, the entire process of issuing the international tender could take at least three months. Even in that case, the project will start in the next fiscal year, the official said.

Commissioner Saqib Manan was not available to comment on the project as the Punjab government has called commissioners and deputy commissioners to give new directions after the dissolution of the provincial assembly.

Official says there are no dollars to hire foreign firm for third-party validation; projec not to start in ongoing year

R3 controversy

The project found itself at the centre of a controversy after former prime minister Imran Khan stopped the work on the old alignment over allegations of embezzlement. Subsequently, a new alignment was formed from Rawat to Motorway - a distance of 38km.

In March 2022, the then prime minister, Imran Khan, inaugurated the project and gave the contract...

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