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Mareer Chowk Railway Bridge finally becomes operational - Printable Version

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Mareer Chowk Railway Bridge finally becomes operational - Salman - 01-08-2014 02:43 PM

Rawalpindi

The much awaited railway bridge at Marreer Chowk finally became operational here on Monday after the railway authorities operated train services on the newly laid track.

The inaugural event was attended by deputy chief engineer bridges, Railway Headquarter, Rizwan ul Haq Hashmi, divisional superintendent, Rawalpindi, Syed Munawar Shah besides other related high officials of Pakistan Railways. A large number of people were also present on the occasion. Work on new railway bridge was completed in December, 2013 and it was handed over to railways for laying tracks. Work on this project, which kicked off in September, 2012 remained mostly delayed due to non release of funds by the Punjab government. Contract of the project was awarded to National Logistic Cell and besides expanding the bridge, the NLC has also increased its height. Though the new railway bridge has been inaugurated however, Pakistan Railways has been able to lay only one railway track out of total two. Giving reasons about delay in work of laying second track, Pakistan Railways blamed the executing body Rawalpindi Development Authority for it.

Talking to ‘The News’, Pakistan Railways DS, Syed Munawar Shah, said that the work on the second track has been delayed only because of RDA, which is still continuing welding work of steel structure girders. It would be completed in three days after which Pakistan Railways would start work on second track and it would be completed in a week time.

He took the journalists over the site where RDA personnel were busy in welding work of the steel structure girders. Syed Munawar Shah said that after laying second track, RDA, would start work on second phase of widening of Railway Bridge where another two tracks would be laid. In all four tracks would be laid on the mega project of expansion of Railway Bridge at Mareer Chowk project on second phase would be completed in three months time, he said.

However, on the other hand, RDA official on anonymity of condition of anonymity gave a different version about the date of completion work on second phase of the railway bridge. He said that the second component would be completed by the end of June, this year. RDA also blamed Pakistan Railways for taking too much time to complete work on its part on the railway bridge. But the official refrained to elaborate the reason in this regard. He said that the remaining component of the project would be completed at a cost of Rs70 million, which would be released in phases.

Meanwhile, according to sources, the necessity of constructing new railway bridge at Mareer Chowk was felt when the condition of old railway bridge at the same site deteriorated and was declared dangerous.

But both the bodies including RDA and PR officials did not agree to it. According to DS Munawar Shah, project was initiated only for expanding purposes otherwise, its condition was not deteriorating and trains had been operating normally. In the old bridge, two tracks existed, while on new bridge PR is laying four tracks. Two tracks would be part of the first component of the bridge, while another two would be laid when second phase of the bridge would be completed.