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ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has started working on two proposals to revive the stalled Margalla Avenue project, after the authority was unable to construct a portion of the road near Shah Allah Ditta because of a shrine and centuries-old graveyard in the alignment of the road.

“We are working on two proposals simultaneously; we can remove the bottleneck through a flyover or change the alignment of the road near Shah Allah Ditta. We will finalise both proposals in a couple of weeks,” CDA Member Planning Asad Mehboob Kayani said.

Mr Kayani, who also holds acting charge as member engineering, said the engineering wing has decided to revive the stalled project.

The nine-kilometre Margalla Avenue project from G.T. Road to D-12 began five years ago and stalled because of design flaws, poor planning and a dispute with the contractor.

The project began in May 2012, and was scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2013. Although 51pc of construction has been completed, no progress has been made on the road for the last two years due to land being acquired along some parts of the route and graveyards situated along others.

The CDA had awarded a contract for the road for Rs588 million, 21pc less than the estimated cost, before completing all its homework for the project including the possession of land.

CDA officials said the contractor filed a case against the authority after completing 51pc of the project because of the graveyard and land possession issue, which led to the court arbitrator imposing a fine of Rs170m on the CDA.

The CDA appealed the arbitrator’s decision, which is under process.

According to CDA officials, if completed the road will relieve traffic congestion and facilitate commuters coming from G.T. Road towards Murree and Kashmir because, after it is connected to the existing Margalla Avenue near E-11, the road will hit the Bari Imam area before touching Murree Road.

“We are serious about this project. Soon after finalising the way out, we will start this stalled project, which has already faced a delay of many years,” Mr Kayani said.

Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2017