ISLAMABAD: City managers on Thursday discussed proposed sites for the first cricket stadium to be set up in Islamabad which will have a seating capacity for 60,000 spectators.

The meeting also approved Srinagar Highway signal-free project and shifting of the landfill site to Mandra in Rawalpindi.

The meeting was presided over by Planning Minister Asad Umar and attended by Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) Ali Nawaz Awan, CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed, Commissioner Rawalpindi Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat, CDA Member Engineering Sayed Munawar Shah and others.

The CDA shared with the participants the design of the proposed stadium which will be constructed by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The CDA chairman informed the meeting that the stadium could be constructed in Saidpur.

Minister asks CDA to select other sites for final decision by PM

Sources said the participants appreciated the design of the stadium and the planning minister directed the CDA to also explore some other sites and take input from international consultants.

The sources said it was decided that the CDA would explore another site after which the design along with the two sites will be presented to Prime Minister Imran Khan for the final selection.

“Today, the meeting was given a briefing on the proposed stadium project in Saidpur area,” Ali Nawaz Awan told Dawn. He said nothing was final rather it was decided that few others sites should also be explored before finalizing one.

On the direction of the prime minister, the CDA and PCB will construct the international stadium. The CDA will provide land and the PCB will construct the stadium.

On Friday last, PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja and CDA Chairman held a meeting and decided that both the organisations through a joint venture would construct the high-tech stadium.

The two organisations in 2012 had also joined hands for the construction of a stadium but the project was scrapped by the Supreme Court in 2018 as it was being built in Skharparian which falls in the national park area.

The decision to construct an international stadium in Islamabad was taken at a meeting held between PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

An official of the PCB told Dawn that Pakistan was going to host the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy and the board would try its best to get the stadium constructed to host some of the matches in Islamabad.

Meanwhile, the CDA meeting also discussed the proposed landfill site which will be constructed in Mandra in Rawalpindi as a joint venture of Rawalpindi Development Authority and the CDA.

The commissioner Rawalpindi said land had been acquired and his team wanted to start construction of the landfill site at the earliest.

It was decided that the RDA and the CDA would sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) next week for having a joint landfill site. Currently, the CDA is dumping garbage in the under-developed residential sector of I-12.

The meeting also discussed the project of making Srinagar Highway single-free. One interchange and three overheads (elevated u-turns) will be constructed on the highway.

The project would be completed within a year, the SAPM said.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2022

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