ISLAMABAD: In order to revive the 10th Avenue project which has been stalled due to lack of funds, the federal government has decided to provide Rs1.4 billion to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) before the end of this fiscal year.
The project, which was started in March last year, was supposed to be completed by March 2024, but the construction was halted earlier this year at a time when only 15pc of the work was completed in 14 months. It may be mentioned that this project is a federal government-funded scheme and the CDA is the executing agency.
Sources said that recently the interior ministry, which is the parent ministry of the CDA, informed the civic agency that the ministry has decided to provide Rs1,400 million for this project before the end of the fiscal year.
“Through an official letter, the CDA was told that we will receive Rs1,400 million for the 10th Avenue project. Now, we are eagerly waiting to receive this amount to resume the project,” said an official of the CDA. He said that the CDA was told that the funds would be released before this fiscal year ends.
Official says Rs400m to be allocated in next year’s budget
Meanwhile, for the upcoming fiscal year, the government has decided to allocate Rs400 million for the project under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). “We were informed that in this budget, Rs400 million will be earmarked for the 10th Avenue project,” said an official.
The mega project worth Rs10.2 billion is a project of the federal government. Last year, the government had provided around Rs1.5 billion, but during the ongoing fiscal year, an amount of Rs350 million was earmarked, hampering its progress.
In Feb this year, The National Logistics Cell, which is in charge of the construction of 10th Avenue, warned the CDA that it would disassociate itself from the project if the civic agency failed to release the funds required for the mega project.
The 10th Avenue project has two phases: in the first phase (currently underway), a 5km road is being constructed from Katarian Bridge on IJP Road to Srinagar Highway near the intersection of G-9 and G-10. In the future, the second phase will be constructed from Srinagar Highway to Margalla Road.
Rimsha Colony, an informal settlement in Sector H-9, will be affected by this project. There are about 1,400 houses and the CDA will have to shift their residents to another place for the construction of the road in the said area.
However, the CDA has failed to resolve this issue so far. An official said the CDA could have used the lull in construction to resolve the issue of Rimsha Colony, but it waste time instead.
“A difficult situation will arise when the CDA, during the construction work, will try to move out the residents of Rimsha Colony. Therefore, this is the right time to decide this matter amicably,” he claimed. “Before, taking any decision, the representatives of Rimsha Colony should be taken on board,” he said.
It may be noted that during the public hearing for the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) held last year, it was agreed that a committee, comprising officers of the CDA and representatives of the residents of Rimsha Colony, would be formed to find a solution to the said issue.
Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2023