PM Imran annoyed over slow pace of work on apartment project

Published February 12, 2022
Prime Minister Imran Khan visits the construction site of Kashmir Avenue Apartments Project in Islamabad's G-13 on Friday. — APP
Prime Minister Imran Khan visits the construction site of Kashmir Avenue Apartments Project in Islamabad's G-13 on Friday. — APP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday expressed displeasure over the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) for the slow pace of work on the Kashmir Avenue Apartments Project in G-13.

The project was inaugurated by the prime minister in April 2019.

The prime minister paid a surprise visit to the site without protocol on Friday morning and found no one present there. The project director was called who briefed him.

Sources said Mr Khan showed his displeasure over the slow pace of work and directed the authority to speed it up.

Imran reaches site, finds no one at work

The FGEHA on its website stated that the project consisted of three towers, each with a basement and ground-plus 21 floors.

The project is designed to have 1,467 apartments out of which 714 will have 1,300 square feet area each while 753 apartments will have 11 square feet each. The basements of the buildings will be reserved for car parking and the ground floors for amenities.

The project is being constructed in the mauve area of the sector. According to the master plan of Islamabad, mauve areas along all sectors are reserved for establishment of institutions and offices.

In the master plan, the blue colour reflects the city district business hub - Blue Area - while mauve is meant for offices and institutions.

However, the federal cabinet on the request of FGEHA made an amendment to the master plan of Islamabad in 2019 and allowed the authority to construct the apartment buildings in the mauve area.

The FGEHA, under the umbrella of Naya Pakistan Housing Programme, a few years ago launched the project along with three other projects - Skyline Apartments near Islamabad International Airport, Chaklala Height at Scheme-111 Rawalpindi and Lifestyle Residency in Lahore.

A source in the FGEHA said all the four apartment projects were facing delays.

FGEHA Director General Tariq Rashid could not be contacted for comments.

However, another officer of the FGEHA said there were issues in the G-13 Kashmir Avenue and Lifestyle Residency projects.

There is no major delay in the Chaklala Height and Skyline projects.

The officer said the major reason behind the slow pace of work was cost escalation. After launch of the projects, prices of construction material saw a significant increase and the contractors were now asking for an increase in the charges.

“They are demanding escalation charges more than the fixed limit. So there is a deadlock. We are trying to fix this issue,” he said, adding efforts were being made by the authority to complete all the four projects as soon as possible.

Asked about the absence of labourers from the project site, the officer said workers always take rest on Fridays.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2022

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