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ISLAMABAD: A ladies’ club in G-10 has yet to be completed since work on it was stopped in 2010.

The building of the club was completed after which the project was abandoned.

“The project on two acres of prime land was halted in 2010 due to financial constraints. It has a little extra work and some finishing touches left,” an engineer of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) said.

He said the club has two wedding halls and a mini cinema, a swimming pool, coffee shops, restaurants, library, squash and tennis courts, gym etc.

“But after 2010-11, when the civil work was completed, no effort was made to get all the work completed,” he said.

He said the contract was awarded in 2006-7 for Rs182.85 million. Work was started in Jan 2007 but was suspended a month and a half later due to lose material being encountered during excavation so the project was redesigned by the consultant which included two additional basement floors and the cost was revised to Rs335.69 million.

Although building has been completed, finishing touches were halted due to ‘financial constraints’

A document said that after the loose material episode, the back side of the building was taken below 40 feet and more space was created for indoor sports facilities. Meanwhile, two banquet halls were created at the basement level which had a separate exit point from main club and lawn tennis facilities were created at the basement level. A multipurpose sports hall was created at basement level.

“The PC-1 of the subject project has been revised by CDA-DWP meeting held in 2015,” the documents read, which say that the project, which has a potential to generate revenue, is at halt since 2010.

“It would seem that CDA is only interested in starting projects and not completing them. This is an example of how state buildings are left to rot and decay,” a CDA officer said.

He said several other projects including an art and craft village and the F-9 Club have been abandoned.

F-9 citizens club

The dilemma of this club is different in that the building and finishing work is completed but it is yet to be decided if the club will be operated.

Spread over more than 20 acres, the Supreme Court had in 2010 declared the club ‘illegal’ when it was almost completed and in its judgement, the apex court said it was opposing the building of such clubs which will only serve elites.

In its decision, SC had said: “As a huge amount has already been spent [on the club], the CDA, with the approval of the federal government, instead of abandoning the project, may utilize the building and other facilities for any public welfare project, like women university, medical/engineering college, science, technology or IT institution, etc.”

Later on, the remaining work of the club was completed and after the formation of the local government, the administrative control of the building was devolved from CDA to the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI). But, MCI yet to take any decision.

However, Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz told Dawn on Sunday that efforts are underway for utilizing the club for any useful purpose.

“Through a recent advertisement, we called for legal and financial consultancy and we will soon complete the bidding process,” he said, and that the consultant will give advice on how to utilize the club in light of SC orders while the financial consultant will provide a business model.

“We are concerned about the abandoned building in the F-9 park, but we will soon reach a decision. Then we can go for outsourcing the building,” he said.

Asked about the ladies club, he said it should have been devolved to MCI, but so far, the CDA has not handed it over.

“Since, the ladies club is still with CDA, I can’t say anything about its fate,” he said and added that he would ask the CDA to hand over the project as it is, then MCI will start it soon.

When contacted CDA spokesperson Syed Safdar Ali said that ladies club project had been facing delays because of financial constraints. When asked about the Mayor’s statement that the club should have been devolved to MCI, he said: “at the moment I can’t say if this building is on the lists of those to be devolved to MCI,” he said.

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2019