ISLAMABAD, Oct 30: It was only after many college and school-going students lost their lives in the morning rush hour to catch their classes that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) decided to erect an overhead bridge on IslamabadHighway near Shakarparian.
However, it has been more than three years since the civic agency, which is known for its multi-billion projects, started the construction work way back in 2008, and the project is yet to see light of day.
When construction work started at the selected site to facilitate students of a number of schools and colleges situated across the road, it looked as if the project would be completed within days. But the half-built structure staring at the passing by motorists tells the real story of CDA`s failure.
Massive traffic delays from Faizabad Bridge, the main entry point of Islamabad, onwards have become a routine affair during morning and evening rush hours. For parents who have to drop their kids at schools in the morning, office-goers and the constituents who come to the capital city to see their MNAs have to undergo taxing traffic experience the moment they enter Islamabad.
When contacted, CDA spokesperson Ramzan Sajid said the contract for building the overhead bridge was originally awarded to Maqbool Associates, the builders of the multi-billion Zero Point Interchange project. However, he added, after some time the CDA management came to know that Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC), Taxila, possessed required expertise to design such bridges. Hence, the CDA decided to engage the HMC for two overhead bridges – one near Shakarparian and the other at G-7 sector.
“Only recently, the CDA has released Rs27 million to put in place the bridges, and everything goes as per the plan and within the next three to four months the iron-made structures of the two bridges will be in place,” said the spokesperson.
However, commenting on the delay, a source in the CDA said had the top bosses of the civic agency been really interested in putting up these bridges in place the whole exercise would not have taken more than a couple of months. “Be it the plan to introduce public transport or build such bridges, when it comes to facilitate poor of the city it stands last on the CDA`s priority list,” he observed.
The CDA is only interested in announcing new sectors and auctioning commercial plots, through which it could collect money, the official lamented, saying despite all this the organisation remained cash-strapped at the moment.—Khawar Ghumman
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