ISLAMABAD: Minister for Housing and Works Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema informed a Senate panel on Thursday that the ministry wants re-tendering of the under-construction Kashmir Avenue Apartments project in G-13.

The building, once completed, will have 1,467 apartments. This is one of the projects prioritised by Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had not only performed its groundbreaking but also inspected its construction last month.

The Senate Standing Committee on Housing and Works, which met under the chairmanship of Senator Hidayatullah Khan in the chair, besides discussing other agenda items got a briefing from the ministry about the project.

Meeting to discuss matter with stakeholders next week, minister says

Mr Cheema told committee members that the contract was not awarded as per the market rates and construction companies submitted bids that were very low, adding he had taken up the issue with the prime minister and suggested re-tendering of the project.

There are several other projects which have been delayed because of ill planning, he said, adding he had called a meeting about all these projects next week and the outcome will be shared with the committee members.

Sources in the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) said due to hike in the cost of construction materials, development projects were delayed as contractors were saying that they cannot complete them under the current rates.

The prime minister last month visited the construction site in G-13 and expressed displeasure over the slow pace of work by the FGEHA.

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 an area of 1,300 square feet while 753 apartments will have 11 square-ft each. The basements of the buildings will be reserved for car parking and the ground floors for amenities.

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

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

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

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

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2022

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