CDA to build 4,400 housing units, raise Metropolitan Police

Published March 16, 2021
The apartments will be allotted to displaced persons of katchi abadis through the CDA and the beneficiaries of Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority through auction. — File
The apartments will be allotted to displaced persons of katchi abadis through the CDA and the beneficiaries of Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority through auction. — File

ISLAMABAD: City managers on Monday took major decisions, including construction of 4,400 low-cost housing units, establishment of Metropolitan Police and getting three roads built through the Ministry of Defence.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) board held a meeting with Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed in the chair. It decided to construct the apartments in Alipur Farash.

The apartments will be allotted to displaced persons of katchi abadis through the CDA and the beneficiaries of Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority through auction.

The board also decided to raise the first ever Metropolitan Police to help citizens and tourists. A board member said the Metropolitan Police will be formed in collaboration with the Islamabad police and will focus on guiding and helping citizens at public places, particularly at parks and other tourist spots.

Proposes to get three major roads constructed through defence ministry

He said that as per plan, 200 officials will be recruited through a competitive process. The board also decided that Margalla Avenue (33 km from G.T. Road to D-12 and then from the edge of Constitution Avenue to Bhara Kahu), I.J.P. Road and the proposed 10th Avenue will be constructed through the Ministry of Defence’s Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) or the National Logistics Cell (NLC).

The CDA board recommended for these arrangements and a final decision will be taken by the federal cabinet. The board member said the decision was made for speedy work and to avoid issues between the CDA and the defence ministry as defence installations were located in a portion of the alignment of these roads.

He said both the FWO and NLC were capable of carrying out mega road projects, adding in the past all major projects of the CDA had faced controversies, delays and questions were raised on their transparency as well.

He said private contractors in connivance with the CDA in many cases in the past made post-bid changes and the projects became controversial.

“Once these two projects are contracted to the FWO or NLC, we will have no issue of quality and their timely completion,” the board member said.

For a long time, the two companies have failed to get contracts for the CDA projects due to a tough competition among construction companies. In the recent years, in almost all projects of the civic agency, private contractors submitted below-estimated bids to win the contracts.

Meanwhile, the board also decided to execute the stalled Ghazi Barotha Project under the Engineering Procurement Construction mode through the defence ministry. This project was announced in 2008 but still could not move beyond the feasibility stage. The project would supply 100 million gallan daily (mgd) water each to Rawalpindi and Islamabad from Tarbela Dam.

On the other hand, residents of Islamabad face water shortage during the summer as the city receives up to 70 mgd against its actual need of 220 mgd.

The board also decided to make the already constructed green restaurant and two café shops/kiosks functional in F-9 Park. The restaurant and café are part of the master plan of the park and their buildings were constructed when Kamran Lashari was the CDA chairman tenure but could not be auctioned.

The CDA’s reconstructed board comprises executive and non-executive members. The non-executive members are: poet Iftikhar Arif, Quaid-i-Azam University Vice Chancellor Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, architects Nayyar Ali Dada and Ali Asghar.

The board decided to utilise services of non-executive members for development of the city. Input of architects Dada and Ali Asghar will be taken during the construction of 4,400 housing units and for uplifting of F-9 Park. Similarly, expertise of poet Iftikhar Arif and the vice chancellor will be utilised for promotion of culture and educational activities.

Published in Dawn, March 16th, 2021

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