ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday performed the ground-breaking of the Margalla Avenue project in the capital.

Speaking at a function held near Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), the prime minister said the avenue would be helpful in reducing traffic burden on Murree Road as it would also serve as a bypass at Bhara Kahu.The prime minister congratulated CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed for launching the project.

The prime minister said after completion of the project the Margalla Hills National Park would be more protected as it would divide the park and the CDA land.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed was also present and appreciated the policies of the prime minister.

The 35-km-long Margalla Avenue, which is also being called as Margalla Highway, was part of Islamabad’s master plan prepared by a Greek firm in 1960 but could not be constructed yet.

The road will start at GT Road and after passing through D-12, Shah Allah Ditta and the foothills of Margallas will touch the Constitution Avenue and then move towards Bari Imam and the QAU side.

Sources said it would provide a direct link to Murree Road near the QAU from where it would move on the right side of Kot Hatyal and after passing though state land would culminate at 17-Meel where ultimately it would be linked with the proposed eastern bypass.

The sources said the project would be executed in two phases: the first phase comprises two packages - one starts from GT Road and calumniates at D-12 and the second at the edge of Constitution Avenue it would move towards Bari Imam and QAU side before reaching 17-Meel.

In the next phase, the road will be built from D-12 to Constitution Avenue and by that time the existing Khyaban-i-Iqbal will serve as a link between both the packages, which will be constructed under package one.

The sources said within the next few days, the contractor - Frontier Work Organisation (FWO) - will start work from Sangjani to D-12 as initial work such as designing and alignment has already been prepared by the CDA.

In the meanwhile, the FWO will design and finalise the alignment of the road from Constitution Avenue to 17-Meel.

Last month, the CDA board had decided to get the project executed through the ministry of defence.

The CDA board recently also decided to execute the project by the FWO as there are certain strategic and defence communication infrastructure and installations in the alignment of the road.

Subsequently, earlier this month, the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) after relaxing rules recommended to the federal government to get the project executed on a single tender basis.

The federal cabinet then decided to engage the FWO.

The sources said the civic agency would also request the federal government for making an amendment to the master plan as earlier the road was to culminate at Murree Road.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2021

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