Finally H-8 students get overhead bridge

English: National Monument of Pakistan in Isla...

English: National Monument of Pakistan in Islamabad. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ISLAMABAD – When the students of Commerce College, H-8/4, would resume their classes after brief summer vacations, they would find much-awaited pedestrian bridge installed on Islamabad Highway, at a site where three and a half years ago one of their fellows was crushed to death by a speedy vehicle.

Though the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has pledged the aforementioned facility in January 2009, following the violent protests of students of H-8 college in the backdrop of their colleague’s death, it took city managers more than three years to materialise the same.

However, the good news is, the workers of Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) have installed the super structure of pedestrian bridge at the site and “it would be completed today or day after tomorrow,” said an official.

On January 21, 2009, Mohammad Zubair, a student of H-8 Commerce College had lost his life in a hit-and-run incident while crossing one of the busiest artery, Islamabad Highway, of the federal capital. It was the time when CDA announced the installation of pedestrian bridge to facilitate the students and to avoid any such untoward incident in future.The installation of bridge was included in the scope of work of near completion Rs4.2 billion Zero Point Interchange project. PC-I of the Zero Point Interchange project was initially covering the construction of only two pedestrian bridges, one in front of Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) building between sectors G-7 and G-8 and second one near the Pakistan Monument loop on Kashmir Highway.

But lately the third one on Islamabad Highway was also made part of the project. Owing to non-payment of dues to contractor in time, Maqbool Assosiates, who is executing the Zero Point Interchange project, has refused to acknowledge the construction of three aforementioned pedestrian bridges.

Upon refusal, CDA had signed a contract amounting to Rs48 million of construction and installation of three steel-structured pedestrian bridges with Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC).

As per agreement signed by CDA, the authority has to provide Rs24 million (50 percent of the total cost of the project) to HMC in advance. While, 40 percent (approximately Rs19 million) before the installation of bridges and 10 percent after completion of work.

At the meantime, when HMC started manufacturing steel structured pedestrian bridge, the Chairman CDA Engineer Farkhand Iqbal came up with an idea of an underground pedestrian passage instead overhead pedestrian bridge on the Islamabad Highway.

CDA Chairman was of the view that installation of overhead bridge would give an ugly look to the city. But later the idea was dropped for some reasons. The foundation work of the overhead bridge near Commerce College was completed approximately a year ago by the CDA. And now HMC workers, in first phase, have installed the super structure of the overhead crossing.

A CDA spokesperson while talking to The Nation said the main structure has been installed and pedestrian bridge would be operational within a day or two.

He said HMC was in process of manufacturing of two other pedestrian bridges those are supposed to install near Monument Loop on Kashmir Highway and ZTBL building.

He said process of installation of bridge for easy and safe crossing of Islamabad Highway is expedited upon special instructions of Chairman CDA.