Earlier it was the sit-ins and then Eid holidays that slowed down work on the 13.9km-long Islamabad section of the metro.
However, after a gap of three months, work has picked up pace. Authorities are confident that the project will be completed by the end of January 2015.
“We have extended the deadline by one month due to these political disturbances,” said Metro Bus Project Implementation Committee Chairman Hanif Abbasi.
In order to complete work in an effective manner, the Islamabad section of the metro bus was divided into five packages and bidding for each package was held separately.
Work on some packages, especially 3, 4 and 5, has just begun. “Due to security reasons, trucks bringing in construction material were not allowed into Islamabad, and this contributed to the delay,” said Chaudhry Amir Latif, contractor for package 3.
Work has faced the greatest delay at Peshawar Mor Interchange mainly because of mismanagement, as the contractor has not effectively mobilised machinery and manpower.
“The main problem is that the contractor is NLC which is not a builder itself so it has sublet the contract to a smaller contractor and mobilisation got delayed as the NLC finalised details with the contractor,” said an engineer affiliated with the project.
|This picture shows the carpeting of the track on 9th Avenue in front of the Higher Education Commission. But the situation changes as we approach Peshawar Mor.|
|9th Avenue is completely closed at Peshawar Mor and those heading towards G-8, G-9, G-10, G-11 or F sectors have to take a turn at ATV point, then head for PTV-2 before turning towards Kashmir Highway.|
|Peshawar Mor interchange has also had its effect on Islamabad’s popular weekly bazaar.|
|The situation near China Chowk is not at all encouraging, as the contractor has only managed to make marking on the road where the metro bus would ply.|
|The contractor on this package of the project has been able to cover up for the time lost, and has built the tunnel through which the metro bus will pass from G sectors to Jinnah Avenue.|
|The situation then turns grim again as the extensions of the flyover on Jinnah Avenue has barely come out of the ground.|
|The last package of the metro bus service paints a sorry picture. Thanks to the sit-ins, work from D-Chowk to Pak Secretariat is still at ‘level 1’ and to complete work on this patch would be challenging for the contractor.— Photos by the writer|
Published in Dawn, November 2nd, 2014