Funds scarcity delays service road construction

ISLAMABAD  – Mega project of construction of Service Road North between sectors I-9 and I-10 has been delayed due to scarcity of funds and non-transfer of electricity poles.

According to sources, dwellers of sectors I-9 and I-10 industrial sectors of the federal capital have been facing inconvenience due to irregular installation of electric pylons and poor condition of link roads.  Being industrial areas, the roads remain busy and heavy traffic has adversely damaged them. But due to lack of interest of the CDA, the mega project has been delayed.

Contract of the roads in the said sectors was allotted on November 11, 2011 with estimated cost of Rs80 million but despite the passage of more than one year, only 50 percent work of the project has been completed so far, while the issue of installation of electric poles at proper locations is still alive; total 57 poles were to be shifted from the site, but seven poles are still not shifted.

Shortage of the funds was so severe that the Road Department had sent a bill of the construction project in July 2011 to the finance wing, but the funds were released in November. Moreover, the CDA had earlier fixed the deadline of one year for the construction of the road but now, in the backdrop of the pace of the work, the civic authority has extended the project deadline. The citizens have demanded of the chairman of Capital Development Authority (CDA) to start the road construction project as soon as possible to save them of the traffic nuisance. Continue reading

CDA balloting to be monitored

Islamabad

Learning lessons from embarrassments brought by the dubious balloting of plots in the past, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has finally formulated new standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure transparency by inviting corruption watchdogs to monitor the process, besides using the latest technologies.

In its recent meetings, the CDA Board has approved the new SOPs introducing various corrective and preventive measures to make transparent the process of balloting for plots, Haj and others.

According to the new SOPs, the organizations like Transparency International, National Accountability Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency will be invitedalong with other stakeholders and media to ensure transparency in the process. A video recording of the whole balloting process will be arranged to make it part of the official record.

Nomination and intimation of representative will be made to coordinate balloting activities with the IT Directorate of the authority at least two weeks prior to balloting date and that the balloting information will be published in newspapers and CDA website one week prior to balloting date. Continue reading

Emphasis is on roads not on economics

ISLAMABAD, Dec 2: The government has launched two road projects in Chakwal district at a cost of Rs8 billion but the poor of the area wonder for whose benefit?

“How do we benefit from it? There will be more buses and trucks when the Mandra-Chakwal road becomes dual-carriage, but think about the fares they would be charging,” observed Mirza Fakhar, a thoughtful 67-year-old resident of Bhaun, a town 12 kilometres from Chakwal.

Indeed, the question asked most by the people of the district is: “Why they had to strip off the railway track that had served us well, and cheap, since 1912?”

Built a century ago, the Bhaun-Mandra rail service used to be the economic lifeline of the people of Chakwal until the 1990s when successive governments dismantled and sold the tracks.

The British colonialists laid the 74-kilometre long track to link the main Peshawar-Calcutta rail line with Chakwal, primarily for the benefit of the soldiers they recruited from Chakwal area. It facilitated the travel of the soldiers to Calcutta and Bombay on way to the frontlines of the First and Second World Wars – or on home leave.
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