CDA sanctions Rs500 million for Bhara Kahu bypass

Published January 11, 2023
Work underway on the Bhara Kahu flyover in Islamabad. — APP
Work underway on the Bhara Kahu flyover in Islamabad. — APP

ISLAMABAD: The finance wing of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has approved the release of Rs500 million for the Bhara Kahu bypass project.

Work on the project is progressing fast and the CDA has been directed by the government to complete it by next month. Out of Rs6.5 billion, the CDA had released Rs2.5 billion and on Monday, allocation of Rs500 million was also approved.

So far, over 60pc of the work has been completed; earth work of the entire road is done and girders have been laid on the interchange. Meanwhile, over 50pc work on the bridge and all three underpasses has been completed.

Meanwhile, work on the 1km flyover area is also in progress but with a relatively slow pace. “We are making all out efforts to complete the project in the next few months. Hopefully we will do it, but the flyover portion, which is a bit complicated, could take more time,” said an official of the CDA.

Currently, motorists constantly face traffic congestion near the flyover portion, because it is being constructed in running traffic.

Govt wants project wrapped up next month

The mega project, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sept 30, has so far made a record in terms of progress. Sources said that the engineering wing had requested the finance wing for release of Rs3 billion, but they were given Rs500 million with assurance that more instalments will be released in the coming weeks.

Sources in CDA said that due to current financial issues being confronted by the civic agency, funds for various projects were being released in instalments.

It is relevant to note here that the CDA, which has been executing several mega development projects, that needed billions of rupees for completion, has been facing financial issues, as a major portion of the funds, which CDA got during the last auction of plots some two years ago, had already been spent on quotation works.

During the last few years, some directorates of the CDA against rules and regulations and without calling tenders spent around Rs20 billion on quotation works. As per rules, the quotation is meant for emergency work worth Rs500,000. But, while ignoring the two warning letters issued by former chairman, a few officers got development work worth billions of rupees done through quotation.

The quotation scam, caught the attention of the CDA Chairman retired Capt Mohammad Usman some months ago, who had ordered an inquiry. However, so far, no outcome of inquiry has come to the fore.

Similarly, the Auditor General of Pakistan Office, in a highly questionable move, also remained ignorant about this scam while auditing CDA accounts during the last few years.

Sources in the finance wing said that since massive funds had been used on quotation work, now, the civic agency has been facing shortage of funds. However, he said that the situation will improve after the auction of plots in this month.

“We are expecting a revenue of Rs20 billion from the auction, which is going to take place after two weeks. After the auction, we will have sufficient funds. Similarly, we are also planning to launch a housing project, mainly for overseas Pakistanis, which will be a financial booster,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2023

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