Work remains incomplete in I-14 sector even after 15 years

ISLAMABAD, Oct 29: It’s been 15 years since sector I-14 was opened but there are no signs of completion as a major road is still missing and pipes work remains pending.

In fact, the bill for the basic development work that had been slated to cost Rs865 million in 1997 now stands blown up to Rs1.5 billion.

According to documents seen by Dawn, sector I-14 was originally intended for industrial units only, but regulations were changed and the sector was turned into a residential one in the 1980s.

A CDA official on the basis of anonymity said that plots measuring between 88 and 266 sq yards were offered to those citizens who had given away their lands to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for establishment of new residential sectors elsewhere in the city. Besides the displaced people, low-income earners were also given a chance to purchase land in the sector.

The CDA official further claimed: “It’s been 15 years and a huge piece of land in both the northern and southern strips is still under possession of original settlers and illegal occupants,” he revealed.

A financial wing official added that the CDA has spent up to Rs1.5 billion on the development of the sector but it’s still incomplete.

“The authority has been unable to finish basic development work like road network, and at a few points the underground sewerage system and even water pipelines have not been laid down,” he said.

A tehsildar of the land directorate told Dawn that there is no major road linking the sector with the rest of the city.

“Sector I-14 can be easily connected with I.J. Principal Road, but that hasn’t been done,” he complained.

He added that to make matters worse a sitting opposition legislator has developed a housing society close to this sector in violation of CDA rules that had hindered the easy approach to the sector.

However, member estate Shaista Suhail when asked to comment said that their management had recently taken over the charge and was looking into the issue.Ms Suhail said that her division is working on an emergency basis to address the issue of undeveloped or partially developed residential sectors.

Meanwhile, when Sanaullah Aman, member engineering, was asked to comment over the delays, he replied: “The development work could not be started mainly because of cancellation of few contracts. The earthing work (land filling) contract was given to a private contractor but the contract has been terminated and given to another company.”

Mr Aman insisted that development work was “almost” complete, but he was unwilling to give a time-frame for completion of sector I-14.