Delay in 6th Road flyover feared

RAWALPINDI, Dec 14: The construction of the 6th Road flyover may not be completed by December 31, the deadline set by the Punjab government.

A provincial government official involved in the project told Dawn on Friday that due to the two-day-long rains work at the site had further slowed down. He said the project was likely to complete by February.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif laid the foundation of the flyover on September 25 and directed the communication and works (C&W) department and the contractor, National Logistics Cell (NLC), to complete the project by January 10. Due to the traffic gridlocks on Benazir Bhutto Road, Commissioner Imdadullah Bosal on November 13 asked the construction company to finish the project by December 31. The firm had agreed to the new deadline.

Work at the site remained slow from the beginning due to late arrival of funds. Later, the C&W department changed its team of engineers in early December.

The recent rains further affected the process to dry the cemented slabs on the flyover. A total seven slabs were to be laid on the beams and so far four have been fixed.The official on Friday said work on the project had been stopped for the last two days which would be restarted on Sunday.

“The project is likely to miss the deadline of January 22 set by the Punjab government,” said Farhat Munir, the superintending engineer of the C&W department, while talking to Dawn.When reminded that the Punjab government had set the deadline of January 10, which was later revised by the commissioner to December 31, Mr Munir said his department had officially received the directives for completion of the work by January 22. He said the commissioner had announced the new deadline without consulting his department.

“It is not possible to complete the work by December 31. The contractor will be able to finish the project by February,” he said. After laying of the slabs, the construction company will test the bridge for load and then start carpeting it.Jamshaid Khan, the project director, also feared that the construction work would not meet the deadline.

“We already gave the government short time for the completion of the project and the rains will likely delay the project for two more weeks,” he said.

The official said shifting of utility services from the project site also took two weeks before digging for the beams started. He added that Wasa shifted the sewage lines in November end.

When contacted, the commissioner said he was not in a position to say anything about the project. “Let me check with the C&W department and NLC before giving the details about the project.”