LAHORE: Due to its postponed start-up, the much-anticipated Lahore Elevated Motorway project has seen a significant cost increase of over Rs. 20 billion.
According to sources within the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), the project ran into several challenges. Despite years of planning and research, that prevented it from getting off the ground.
On February 16, 2022, the project received clearance from the previous chief minister Usman Buzdar. The cabinet standing committee allotted a budget of Rs. 60 billion for finance and development as part of the yearly development programme.
Originally, it intended for former prime minister Imran Khan to lay the expressway cornerstone formally. The expressway aimed to connect Gulberg’s major boulevard to Motorway M2, allowing easy highway access.
Former Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi gave the project the go-ahead on November 7, 2022. He stressed the urgency of the Motorway Project.
As the construction of the four-lane elevated motorway from east to west in Lahore was considered, the project’s anticipated cost increased to Rs. 85 billion.
In a recent development, Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi once again approved the project at the authority’s second meeting and estimated its cost to be Rs. 81 billion.
The CM reaffirmed the LDA’s commitment to enhancing the city’s road system and reducing traffic congestion.
Asrar Saeed, the LDA’s chief engineer, presented the project’s salient points.
The project intends to lessen traffic congestion on important thoroughfares by offering a different path. It will save time and money and reduce carbon emissions.
In addition, the LDA, in cooperation with NESPAK, recommended that the motorway include toll entry and exit points, a designated metro bus lane and stations.
The Chief Engineer of LDA recognised that the project’s start-up delay resulted in a large cost rise and warned that further delays would lead to further cost escalations.