LAHORE - Shalamar Interchange, the first mega project of PML-N Punjab government launched with much funfair last year, is going to miss the 30th September deadline fixed by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. At present, when three months have left to meet the deadline, around 44 per cent work is yet to be completed despite the fact that construction work is going on round the clock. Sources in FWO revealed that the construction work of Shalamar Interchange project that would cost Rs 2 billion could never be completed by the end of November, 2009 due to number of problems including delay in shifting utility services, land acquisition, transportation of construction material, traffic and other intervening variables. When contacted, Chairman CM task force for road rehabilitation Khawaja Hassan, who is looking after the entire Shalamar Interchange project, responded that around 60 per cent work had been completed. We hope the project will be completed either on time or a few days after the deadline, he further said. To a query, he said the government wanted to complete the project at earliest but three months were wasted due to some unforeseen reasons. Inclusion of underpass, that was earlier not part of the project, also prolonged the time of completion of the project. Acquisition of land was another difficult task that hampered the construction work. Yet another major factor that really damaged the pace of work was the time when PML-N government in Punjab was dislodged, he maintained. He said the Shalamar Interchange project was a unique project, as no body residing and running a business in the vicinity of the project had any complaint about the acquisition of land. The sources informed that during the last meeting, FWO officials had apprised the chief minister that the project would not be completed by September 30 even if the work had to be carried out in three shifts without any pause. The officials said that FWO had briefed the chief minister about the impediments leading to hamper the speed of work and as to why the project could not be completed on September 30. But, the government strictly directed the agency that CMs promise to complete the Shalamar Interchange project has to be fulfilled at any cost. The FWO officials held the view that completion of the project on September 30 was possible only on paper but not practically. They said that FWO had assured the chief minister of sparing no effort to complete the project but avoided giving guarantee to meet the deadline. According to FWO data regarding the pace of construction work available to The Nation, one flyover, two canal bridges and one underpass are near its completion. The data revealed that out of total 320 pillars being erected for the construction of flyover, 304 had been built. While out of total 558 girders, that could be seen lying down on the sides of green belts of the canal, 510 had been constructed. One Kilometer long flyover is 4-lane dual carriageway along Shalamar Link Road. With 4 per cent slops of ramps, it has around 150 streetlights in the central median. The data shows that two canal bridges are near completion. One bridge has 18 meters width and 21 meter length while second bridge has 4 meter width and 21 meter length. During the construction of both bridges, total 12 pillars had been completed. The bridges from the entry and exit points are 4-lane while in the middle it turns into 6-lane dual cartridge way. The FWO data also informed that around 310 Kilometer long underpass was under construction. The height of the tunnel of underpass will be 50 meter while its width will be 11 meter. The Data shows that approximately 3,5000 vehicle moving across the canal would benefit.