ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Wednesday approved construction of a new road linking Margalla Avenue with Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway (M1).

The project worth Rs5.45 billion was approved by the civic body’s chairman, Noorul Amin Mengal, in the meeting of CDA Development Working Party (DWP) and will be completed in a period of eight months.

Accoridng to the minutes of the meeting, the interchange at N-5 was also part of the project and this scheme was approved at a cost of Rs5,452.011 million.

According to a working paper of the CDA, the maximum benefit from Margalla Avenue cannot be achieved until the road was linked to M-1. The project comprises a six-lane road facility and aims at providing an alternative route for commuters travelling to Islamabad from G.T. Road (N-5) and vice versa.

Project to be completed within eight months; CDA to acquire land that falls in road alignment

According to CDA-DWP, the civic body will also acquire private land that falls in the alignment of the road.

“The PC-I has been approved now and the meeting has decided to acquire land. Soon, we will request the CDA and ICT revenue department for acquisition of land that fell in the alignment of the road,” a CDA official said.

It is relevant to note here that out of the total 3.4km, 1.8km falls in Rawalpindi and the remaining 1.6km in Islamabad. The CDA will construct the area falling in the limits of Islamabad.

In June, the federal government had already given the go-ahead to the National Highway Authority (NHA) to construct a road in the limits of Rawalpindi for which the former will provide funds.

According to budgetary documents, the government has earmarked Rs1.5 billion in the PSDP 2023-24 for the project whose overall cost was Rs3 billion.

In 2021, the then prime minister, Imran Khan, had directed the CDA to develop the road that fell within the limits of Islamabad whereas the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) was asked to carry out work on the portion that fell in their jurisdiction. However, the PDM government tasked the NHA to construct road falling in Rawalpindi’s limits.

The Margalla Avenue, which starts from G.T. Road and culminates at D-12, will be linked with the new portion of the 5km-long road from D-12 to E-11. This portion is under construction and will be completed soon.

The civic body is also planning the proposed 11th Avenue from E-11 to Srinagar Highway to reduce traffic load on Margalla Avenue and other roads.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2023

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