ISLAMABAD: New residential sectors, interchanges, flyovers figure in Rs 28bn CDA budget

Associated Press of Pakistan

* Rs 6.5bn project will replace Islamabad’s 65,000 streetlights with LED lights

The Capital Development Authority on Wednesday approved its annual budget 2012-13 with total outlay of Rs 28 billion, with main focus on launching of two residential sectors and construction of interchanges, flyovers, and signal-free avenues.

“We have approved Rs 28 billion budget. It will be announced within a couple of days,” Chairman Farkhand Iqbal told APP. The all-powerful CDA Board has approved the annual budget and it has almost approved all budgetary proposals put forward by the CDA’s Finance Wing.

The upcoming budget would be 15 percent more than that of the outgoing year 2011-12 that stood at Rs 23.9 billion and would have tilt towards development projects as the non-development budget would stand slashed by 50 percent.

Farkhand Iqbal said among the mega development projects are being planned in the upcoming budget including development of two residential sectors of C15 and C16, two model villages on pattern of Saidpur Village, construction of 11th Avenue, interchange at Peshawar Morr and above all launching of $1.2 billion project of water conduction from Ghazi Barotha waterworks.

He said the said two sectors would provide housing units to 10,000 people to bridge housing shortage that has swelled to 75,000 in Islamabad, besides bringing in revenue of Rs 16 billion to the cash-strapped CDA. He said for the first time, the sectors would have special spaces for eight guesthouses and 16 plots for public and private schools to avert non-conforming use.

The chairman said the upcoming budget would have allocation for expansion of 7th Avenue to link it with Murree Road in the same direction passing through Garden Avenue. He said in the next fiscal year, work on much-delayed project for conduction of water pipeline from Ghazi Barotha is set for launch as an agreement for its execution through soft loan worth $1.2 billion has been signed with a Chinese firm.

He said the civic body has started working on project’s layout hoping that physical work would be launched by end of August this year. However, in absence of any effective strategy for revenue generation, the chief said the Authority would expedite auction of residential plots and reduce non-development expenditures.

However, he pinned hopes with the Ordinance pending with the Cabinet Division, to be forwarded to President Asif Ali Zardari for promulgation, that would empower the CDA to execute projects on public-private partnership. “If the ordinance is promulgated, the CDA will open up two more residential sectors of G12 and E12 in joint venture with private parties,” Farkhand Iqbal added.

He reiterated his resolve to executing the Rs 6.5 billion project to replace all 65,000 streetlights of Islamabad with the LED lights, if it is cleared by the Islamabad High Court; however claiming that as per available documents, there sees to be no anomaly in the process.

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