ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has formed a committee to resolve its issues with a former contractor and begin working on the stalled Margalla Avenue project.

CDA Member Engineering Humayun Akhtar told Dawn on Tuesday that a committee supervised by the member finance has been constituted to resolve the issue with the former contractor, who has been in litigation with the CDA for years.

“We want to make an out of court settlement to resolve this issue,” he said.

Mr Akhtar said that once the matter with the contractor is settled, the CDA wants to restart construction that has been stalled for several years.

Talks are underway with Railways authorities as well to finance a design that will be a part of the project, he said.

CDA wants to restart road construction project once matter is resolved, member engineering says

According to a document the Ministry of Interiorrecently shared with Dawn, the contract to construct Margalla Avenuefrom the G.T. Road to D-12 was awarded to a contractor in June 2012 at the cost of Rs588.4 million.

The project was to be completed within a year, but because of issues regarding possession of land and contracts, it was not finished.

The document said that the total length of the road was around 8.5 kilometres, of which 6km were free of any hindrances. The work was therefore started on the 6km portion.

It said: “The contractor mostly emphasized on earth work with some quantities of base and sub base course and filed an interim claim for idling and prolongation charges amounting to Rs 234 million in 2014, which was not considered by CDA. Resultantly, the contractor started litigation and dispute with CDA.

“The contractor thereafter suspended the work and filed a writ petition in court for appointment of arbitrator… a sole arbitrator was appointed in 2015 for settlement of the project disputes. The matter has since become sub-judice which has resulted in the potential delay in the completion of the project.”

A CDA official said the committee was formed to reach an amicable settlement with the contractor in order to expedite the matter in the project’s best interest.

The process to acquire land for the remaining 2.4km will also be initiated so work can begin there as well.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2020