ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday while performing the online groundbreaking of four development projects in Islamabad directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to ensure protection of green areas during execution of the projects.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the groundbreaking was held at Prime Minister Office. The prime minister also directed the CDA to avoid cutting of trees and when imperative transplant the trees somewhere else.
The projects, work on which is going to start in a next few days, are: construction of Rawal Chowk Interchange, PWD Underpass and expansion of Korang Bridge on Islamabad Expressway and development of a sub-sector of I-15. The CDA in a rare occurrence has awarded the contracts of all these projects at rates below the estimates.
According to a press release issued by the Prime Minister Office, Imran Khan appreciated the role of the CDA in development of the housing sector and the steps being taken to ensure better traffic management.
It said the projects were aimed at decongesting traffic flow in Islamabad enabling the residents to commute without any traffic hassle besides making traffic flow smooth on Islamabad Expressway and link roads to adjoining areas.
Online groundbreaking of Rawal Dam Chowk Interchange, Korang Bridge, PWD Underpass and I-15/3 held at Prime Minister House
CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed briefed the prime minister and said the civic agency saved Rs600 million in these projects by awarding their contracts on rates below the estimates. He said the amount would be spent on the construction of a railway bridge on the expressway.
Sources said the prime minister directed the CDA chief to ensure protection of green areas and focus on proper traffic diversion plans to avoid traffic jams on Rawal Dam Chowk and the expressway during the construction work. He also directed the CDA to ensure timely completion of the projects.
The CDA chief also briefed the prime minister about some upcoming projects such as construction of 10th Avenue and an interchange at the junction of 7th Avenue and Kashmir Highway near Aabpara.
About the Ghazi Barotha Water Project, he said technical bids to hire a consultant for carrying out the feasibility study had been opened and soon after opening the financial bids the consultant would be hired.
Rawal Dam Chowk Interchange would be a traffic management solution project that would be completed by the CDA through its own resources in 24 months.
The construction of Korang Bridge and PWD Underpass will also be executed by CDA in 15 and seven months, respectively, through the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).
Karachi-based Maqbool Associates, which had constructed the Zero Point Interchange in a Joint Venture (JV) with Calson, has won the road projects by submitting the lowest bids.
The CDA accepted the bids of the JV worth Rs1.17 billion for the construction of Rawal Dam Interchange, (11pc below the estimate), Rs628.5 million the bid for Korang Bridge (17pc below) and Rs420 million, (19 pc below) for the PWD Underpass.
The contract of the development of I-15/3 was also awarded 25pc below the estimated cost.
The CDA awarded the contract against Rs862 million while the estimated cost was Rs1.1 billion.
Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2020