CDA refuses to take over ‘incomplete’ metro bus project

Published January 17, 2021
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has requested National Highway Authority (NHA) to get the remaining work on the metro track from Peshawar Mor to Islamabad International Airport (IIA) completed before handing it over to the civic agency. — File photo
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has requested National Highway Authority (NHA) to get the remaining work on the metro track from Peshawar Mor to Islamabad International Airport (IIA) completed before handing it over to the civic agency. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has requested National Highway Authority (NHA) to get the remaining work on the metro track from Peshawar Mor to Islamabad International Airport (IIA) completed before handing it over to the civic agency.

The CDA in a letter dated Jan 8 informed the NHA: “A site visit was carried out by the undersigned on 7th of Jan to check if the project is complete so as to communicate the authority to organise Inspection Committee for taking over the project from NHA.”

The letter added: “ It can be seen that a lot of work is still required to be undertaken by the contractors before NHA can take over the project and then hand over the same to CDA for further utilisation.”

The letter also said before handing over the project to CDA it [NHA] will have to ensure providing details of following: “Taking over certificate (with the construction contractor), tender drawings (original), as built drawings, report of NHA inspection committee, final bill of quantities, change made in the design with reasons, shortcoming in the project vis-à-vis metro bus operations, list of inventories - assets procured against the project etc.”

Sources said recently the NHA wrote to CDA to take over the project, adding Prime Minister Imran Khan was likely to conduct a soft launching of the project on Jan 15 at the Prime Minister House. However, CDA officials said the civic agency did not show any interest in taking over what they said an incomplete project.

Meanwhile, the expected soft launching ceremony was also not held on Friday at PM Office.

On the direction of the federal government, the CDA will operate buses on the metro track. Last year, the civic agency also got the PC-1 worth Rs1.9 billion approved for procuring 30 buses and set up ticketing, command and control system on the track.

Sources in CDA said the civic agency was making efforts to get funds from the government for procurement of the buses. They said recently the CDA also wrote to the government for release of funds.

The NHA launched the project to construct the 25.6-km-long track from Peshawar Mor to IIA worth Rs16 billion in Jan 2017. It was supposed to complete in Aug 2018.

NHA officials said the project was almost complete and remaining finishing touches such as electric work will be completed soon.

They said due to slow release of funds, the project faced a little delay but the incumbent management of the NHA expedited the work.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2021

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