ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday laid the foundation stone of the Bhara Kahu bypass and directed the National Logistics Cell (NLC) to complete the project in three months instead of four, as mentioned in PC-I.

Before laying the foundation stone, the prime minister was given a detailed briefing on the project by Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman retired Capt Mohammad Usman.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sharif said this public welfare project, once completed, would provide relief to the public, adding that sometimes people were stuck in traffic jams for hours.

Recently, the CDA awarded contract of the project to the National Logistics Cell (NLC) as it turned out to be the lowest bidder. The civic body had called bids from government-owned construction firms only and Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and NLC participated in the process.

The FWO had submitted a bid amounting to Rs7.3 billion while the NLC offered Rs6.5 billion and won the contract. The CDA officials said the National Logistics Cell had mobilised its machinery last week and had started work.

Last month, PM Sharif had directed the CDA to launch the project as soon as possible and complete it within four months. The 5km-long road (including a 1km flyover) will start from Murree Road near Quaid-i-Azam University stop and culminate on Murree Road near the Jugi bus stop adjacent to Punjab Cash and Carry from where the flyover will begin till the end outside Bhara Kahu bazaar towards Murree.

The CDA chairman briefed the prime minister about the project, adding that this bypass road would be a

controlled access and fenced road and would be completed in four months. He also told Mr Sharif about other ongoing projects, stating that a number of development projects, including expansion of expressway, I.J. Principal Road, 10th Avenue, 7th Avenue Interchange and Rawal Dam interchange projects, were underway with full pace after directives from the PM last month.

Mr Usman said work on all projects had been accelerated and would be completed in record time.

The bypass project was the main task given by Mr Sharif to the CDA chairman in August this year. The project is the first mega development project which was launched by the incumbent government.

It is relevant to note that CDA had planned construction of a 7.8-km-long road to completely bypass Bhara Kahu and Kot Hatyal. In April 2021, former prime minister Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone of the bypass project, but the PTI government could not get the project started until its tenure ended in April this year. Later, the CDA shelved the project and with modification in alignment, decided to launch the 5km-road and flyover project instead of the previously designed project.

Meanwhile, former special assistant to prime minister on CDA and PTI MNA from Islamabad Ali Nawaz Awan, in a statement, had pointed out that Mr Sharif had re-inaugurated the project. He said the former prime minister Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone of this project last year.

Mr Awan said all ongoing projects in Islamabad, which were almost complete, were started by the PTI government but the current prime minister was trying to fool the public by saying that he was the one who started them.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2022

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