By Imran Naeem Ahmad
ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has finally sped up work on projects that have been stuck on the drawing board for months.
After facing public criticism over prolonged delay in several road projects last year, the city fathers now clearly appear to have stepped up a gear in ensuring that no hiccups occur again.
Clearly, there is a sense of urgency that is evident. Be it the work on Islamabad Highway or the soon to kick-off Zero Point Interchange, the widening of Kashmir Highway or the Faisal Avenue Flyover – seriousness is today the key word, so it seems.
This seriousness was however missing when contractors virtually sat on projects and went about working at a leisurely pace earlier. Citing one reason or the other for their slowness, the contractors almost always had an excuse up their sleeves.
But a senior official of the CDA on Wednesday made it clear that the days of delays were behind them and that every on-going project was now being closely monitored while the same would go for the new ones to be initiated.
“We have told the contractors that deadlines have to be met and no excuses will be accepted come what may,” Abdul Jabbar Melano, the CDA Director General Works, told Daily Times.
CDA’s consultant engineer Lt Col (r) Arshad Nasim Qureshi said from now on, imposition of penalties was going to start as early as the third month from the start of the project.
He pointed out that the contractors completing work before the scheduled time span would be rewarded while those falling behind would be punished. “We have made this very clear to them,” he said.
Qureshi explained that it was the client’s prerogative to give work to a certain contractor and take it back if he thought work was not progressing satisfactorily. “If we can award a contract, we can also get it back,” he said.
Work on the Faisal Avenue Flyover, delayed because of soaring cost of steel, is now back on track and officials claim that the underpasses and a roundabout forming part of the project would be opened to traffic in July.
It will bring a relief for motorists who have to take detours because of the construction activity. Similarly, Islamabad Highway is now being converted into an expressway by adding new lanes on either side of the section between Faizabad and Koral.
A visit to the construction site does reflect the seriousness and the pace of work is quite fast. Officials said the stretch of road from Koral to Lethrar would become operational in July.
This year’s CDA budget is more than last year’s which meant that several new road projects like 6th, 10th and 11th avenues would be executed.
Source: Daily Times, 22/5/2008
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