LAHORE - The Punjab Government has started widening of road from Adda Plot Raiwind Road to village Mull via Jatti Umra at a hefty cost of around one billion that also included the cost of land acquisition, sources informed The Nation on Tuesday. Apart from the staggering cost, project has been started in great haste without even fulfilling the established procedures that call for pre-qualification of interested firms, invitation of tenders and carrying out Environmental Impact Assessment. The cost of the project includes land acquisition at Rs 630 million and construction work at Rs 320 million. The Punjab Government will provide funding for the widening of 4-kilometer long road while the City District Government will execute the project that also involves slaughtering of hundreds of precious old trees. The government normally constructs 4 feet wide shoulder but in the case of this road the shoulder will be 8 feet wide. Interestingly, the CDGL published notice for the pre-qualification of interested firms on April 28 but the Khalid Rauf Construction Company is presently carrying out work on the project at a rapid pace. Khalid Rauf Construction Company is the firm that was constructing a major part of the Lahore Ring Road. Interestingly, owner of this company got into trouble as soon as Mian Shahbaz Sharif sworn in. A case was registered against him after which he remained behind the bars for sometime. He left the country later on after his release. Surprisingly, the same firm has been picked for this project involving multi-million rupees and that too without proper tendering. Officials at the CDGL Works and Services Department told The Nation that the government was unnecessarily spending huge amount on the widening of a branch road. They said the project was aimed at improving road access to the Jatti Umra. The government is spending around one billion just to make travelling to Jatti Umra trouble free. The government even did not bother to fulfil legal requirement for carrying out the project. Construction is underway but the government has yet to award contract, said an official on the condition of anonymity, adding, Khalid Rauf Construction Company has been given a nod to carry out the project. He revealed that the government even did not bother to carry out EIA of the project that involved cutting of hundreds of grown up trees.