Rawalpindi Ring Road:
The Rawalpindi Ring Road, also known as the Rawalpindi Islamabad Ring Road, is a major project that will connect Rawalpindi and Islamabad through a six-lane, 38.3-kilometer highway. It is a significant development that will provide connectivity, interchanges, and stress-free travel for residents of the two cities, especially those in nearby areas. The idea for a ring road was proposed as early as the 1940s and has been delayed due to political turmoil.
However, under the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf government, the project was revived, with a budget of Rs. 50 billion under a public-private partnership. The aim of the six-lane highway is to ease traffic congestion, minimize distances between the twin cities, and improve economic activities in the region. The project is expected to have eight interchanges and will exclude heavy-duty vehicles from entering Islamabad. The Rawalpindi Ring Road will also provide an additional edge in the training and development of skilled manpower for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. This development is a game-changer for the public of the Twin Cities, and it is expected to attract significant industrial activity along its route.
The project was initially put forward in early 1991, while Nawaz Sharif was in power. However, due to political instability within the party, the project failed to materialize. Later, during a visit to China in 2010, Shahbaz Sharif, who was then the Chief Minister of Punjab, discussed the project with Chinese officials to secure funding. In 2017, the project was once again presented, this time to the Asian Development Bank, in an effort to obtain funding for its implementation.
If we look at the map of The Ring Road Rawalpindi, it starts from the main Grand Trunk road (GT Road) at Rawat and will cross the Chak Beli, crossing various points like Baga Sangral, Baga Miana, Ghora Bharta, Meera Bharta, Chak Thoha, Losaar, Chak Khas, Davari, Kotla, Sanbhal Ghahi Mera, Khengar Kalan, Bhattian, Nordin, Hoshyal, Lalla Kamlpar, Mora Pahpra, Chappar Tarahiya, Mian Ahmada, Khasala Kalan, Khasala Khurd, Miana Jabr, and Mira Kalan.
Rawalpindi Ring Road Interchange:
The Rawalpindi Ring Road is expected to have eight interchanges in total. The eight major interchanges on Rawalpindi Ring Road will be constructed at the following junctions:
- Fateh Jang Road interchange
- Chakri interchange
- Hakla interchange
- Sangjani. Interchange
- Radio Pakistan interchange
- Kassala Khurd, interchange
Rawalpindi Ring & China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC):
In order to link it to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a stretch of land measuring approximately 51km has been acquired from Pakistan Radio along the Grand Trunk Road. One of the potential advantages of connecting CPEC projects to the Rawalpindi Islamabad Ring Road is that it would provide an additional advantage in the training and development of skilled labor. In order to maximize the benefits of the Rawalpindi Islamabad Ring Road, plans need to be developed on paper to assess the long-term manpower requirements for both the construction and operational phases of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
The Rawalpindi Ring Road is poised to have a transformative effect on the residents of the Twin Cities. By providing a streamlined economic corridor, it will facilitate movement between the two cities, making travel for commuters much more convenient. By avoiding congested areas of the city, travel time can be reduced considerably. This marks the realization of the Rawalpindi Development Authority’s long-standing ambition to construct a ring road since 1997.
Specifically, the construction of the Rawalpindi Ring Road will facilitate the urbanization of Rawalpindi’s south and southwest regions. Additionally, it will provide a means for travelers to bypass congested areas such as open markets and commercial centers like Saddar or Roadside Mandis, while traversing through the city via the Grand Trunk (GT) Road. Furthermore, the ring road will enable direct access for traffic originating from Hazara and Gilgit-Baltistan on the Hazara side. Heavy-duty vehicles will be permanently diverted from entering Islamabad and directed to use the Ring Road as an alternate route.
Rawalpindi Ring Road Map:
The Rawalpindi Islamabad Ring Road is anticipated to attract significant industrial activity along its route. Economic analysts are predicting that this road will give rise to a new industrial and economic city along its path. Representatives of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) have expressed optimism about the project in various interviews, expecting it to become a hub of commerce, industry, manufacturing, production, and other economic activities.
The Ring Road project in Pakistan is expected to be a significant catalyst for growth in the southwest region of the country. The establishment of unique economic zones along the road will contribute to the city’s developmental improvements, paving the way for modernization. The project will also have a positive impact on the environmental and climatic conditions of the city and help to reduce traffic congestion.
Additionally, it will contribute to addressing the issue of unregulated urban sprawl, which has negatively impacted Rawalpindi in recent years. To fully maximize the benefits of the project, stakeholders must adhere to the land use plan prepared for development along the Ring Road and consider it as an opportunity to contribute to the planned development of Rawalpindi. The project will also benefit traders, businessmen, and government contractors, further contributing to the economic growth of the region.
Traveling on the Rawalpindi Islamabad Ring Road will be convenient and effortless, owing to the presence of well-built, extensive roads that connect the twin cities with major suburbs, thereby reducing the distance between them. As a result, using this public road will lead to savings in petroleum expenditure. With reduced distances, people will be able to travel between the two cities more efficiently and cost-effectively than with other transportation options. Additionally, Makeen Marketing predicts that the ring road will alleviate traffic congestion on other routes, reducing travel times and making commuting more efficient. This will have a positive impact on the overall economy, as reduced travel times translate to more productive time for individuals and businesses.