ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has changed its earlier decision of handing over the 10th Avenue project to the Ministry of Defence and decided to execute it on its own.

Last month, the CDA board had decided to refer to the federal cabinet three road projects - Margalla Avenue, I.J.P. Road (expansion and overhauling) and 10th Avenue - for decision regarding their execution by the Ministry of Defence under the engineering procurement construction mode.

But sources said the CDA has now decided to execute the 10th Avenue project on its own. A summary for the other projects has been referred to the cabinet for a final decision. The sources said that there are certain chances that in the forthcoming cabinet meeting or thereafter the issue will be taken up.

In last month’s meeting, the CDA board had stated that execution of these mega projects required to be accomplished on a fast track basis.

Summary on Margalla Avenue, IJP Road expansion moved to federal cabinet

The board said there are certain strategic defence communication infrastructure and installations located in portions of the alignment of these roads.

Therefore, these projects should be referred to the defence ministry, the board had decided.

The Ministry of Defence has two construction firms - Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and the National Logistics Cell (NLC) – with expertise in road projects.

9th Avenue, which is approximately nine-km-long, will start at I.J. Principal Road near the Khayaban stop and culminate at the junction of Khayaban-i-Iqbal (commonly known as Margalla Road).

Before the CDA board’s decision of last month, the civic agency had opened financial bids for awarding consultancy of 10th Avenue. However, when the board decided to refer the project along with two other projects to the federal cabinet, the process of awarding consultancy of the project was halted.

The project is supposed to be executed through funds provided by the federal government which has already earmarked Rs1 billion under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) in 2020-21.

According to sources, the consultant will make the design and feasibility along with a two-year supervision of the project.

The CDA officials said a joint venture of ACE-BOTK had submitted a bid of Rs170 million, Nespak Rs135 million bid and Zeeruk submitted a Rs98 million bid for consultancy.

The officials said once constructed, 10th Avenue will not only help reduce traffic congestion on I.J.P. Road and Ninth Avenue but will also provide an alternative route to residents of I-10, I-11 and those living in adjoining areas of Rawalpindi to reach Islamabad.

The officials said the CDA was also mulling constructing an interchange on Srinagar Highway, which is part of the main project before start of the road work.

However, a final decision is yet to be taken.

The officials said that for the ongoing fiscal year, the government has earmarked Rs1 billion and the CDA wanted to avoid lapse of the fund.

10th Avenue is part of Islamabad’s master plan, which states that after every sector there will be a major avenue to divide the sectors. However, so far, the CDA could only develop 7th Avenue, 8th Avenue and 9th Avenue.

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2021

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