Delaying tactics may make Margalla Avenue project costlier

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ISLAMABAD - After completing a portion of Margalla Avenue project within the stipulated time, the high-ups of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) are using delaying tactics to make the project costlier, sources in the authority told The Nation on Friday.

On condition of anonymity, the official sources disclosed that with the delay in operational work of the project, the cost of the project would increase up to 30 per cent to 40 per cent and the officials running and supervising the project are still in slumber and are not heeding even the fact that the delay would cost in millions of rupees to the national exchequer, the sources added.

When contacted CDA Spokesperson Asia Gull to seek the official version, she confirmed there is delay in the project due to some technical reasons and claimed, "The authority has completed 75 per cent project work, as a piece of six kilometres has been completed while the rest of three kilometres would be completed soon."

The CDA initiated the project as a by-pass road to facilitate the vehicular traffic coming from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the federal capital and to decrease the pressure of traffic on Kashmir Highway, but there seemed no chance of an in-time completion of the project. The project started in June 2012 and was to be complete in June 2013 at an estimated cost of Rs 588 million.

Despite completing the mega project in time only 40 per cent work on the development project had been completed so far due to the lack of interest of CDA bodies and contractors.

Development work on only four kilometres of the nine-kilometre road is in progress as graveyards and residential areas are present in the remaining portion of the project.

Keeping in view the circumstances, National Highway Authority (NHA) submitted an application for new allotment to planning wing, but it failed to issue allotment, which resulted in disruption of the development project. The former chairman approved the construction of a service road near Sector D-12 but those affectees had moved the court, causing suspension of development work on the project.

Another official of civic body claimed the civic body had already got approval of the Rs 744 million PC-1 of the nine-kilometre extended two-lane portion of Khayaban-e-Iqbal from its Central Development Working Party (CDWP)). He added that the delay of project would cost in millions of rupees to the CDA that is already facing financial crisis.

The sources in the CDA said that the project includes a railway bridge linking Sector D-12 with GT Road near Sangjani. Margalla Avenue was the first mega project initiated by the PPP government in the last five years.

It has been learnt that despite financial constraints, the CDA chairman had assured the CDA Engineering Wing that the required funds would be made available for the important road project, which on completion, would facilitate travelers between Islamabad and Taxila and other destinations.

Courtesy: Nation

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