ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has received a bid of Rs11 billion from the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) for the project under which the 7km Islamabad Expressway from PWD to Grand Truck (G.T.) Road will be expanded.

The bid is being evaluated by a committee of the civic body. The CDA had recently called bids from government-run construction firms, to which the FWO and National Logistics Cell (NLC) responded.

According to sources, the NLC quoted a bid of Rs11.7bn while the FWO submitted a bid of Rs10.9bn. Therefore, as per the rate, the FWO submitted the lowest bid.

According to CDA sources, the civic body had opened bids on June 10. At present, the Bid Evaluation Committee (BEC) was evaluating the FWO’s bid.

CDA’s committee carrying out evaluation process

The committee has met once and the lowest bidder has been asked to submit rates in the next meeting, the sources said.

After the committee’s approval, the CDA management will accept the bid before issuing work orders.

The expansion project once started will be completed in 18 month. Besides, expanding the expressway from PWD to Rawat from the existing two lanes to four on both sides, construction of Sohan bridge is also part of the project.

Last month, the CDA board had given a go-ahead to the civic body to execute the project through a government contractor under 42(F) rules of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), which allowed government-owned organisations to directly contract other state-owned entities.

The CDA officials said the civic agency had already built several interchanges on the expressway and carried out interventions to ensure smooth flow of traffic, but they had not been of much use.

The officials said there was no other option but to expand the busy road till G.T. Road to resolve the lingering traffic issue.

The road, which starts from Faisal Mosque, has already been widened till Koral and PWD stop. However, after PWD, traffic gets congested all of a sudden because the road from this point onwards narrows down to two lanes.

At present the FWO is executing another project under which 2km road from Korang bridge to PWD is being widened.

The expressway caters to both local and heavy traffic, particularly plying between Islamabad and Lahore. It is also an important link between Punjab, Azad Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as it connected with G.T. Road at Rawat.

Besides, a large number of housing societies had sprung up along its length during the last two decades. Under this situation, the widening of the road has become inevitable. All major road projects, which were launched in the last few years including Margalla Road, 7th Avenue Interchange, I.J. Principal Road expansion and 10th Avenue are either being executed by the FWO or NLC.

Only one major contract, Rawal Dam interchange, was awarded to a private contractor, who left it halfway, following which the civic agency engaged the FWO to complete it. This project is likely to be completed in August this year.

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2022

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