ISLAMABAD: The construction of a new road in the extended area of Diplomatic Enclave has been stopped, apparently because of funding and encroachment issues.
Last year, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had started the construction of the new road to merge Diplomatic Enclave with its extended area to ensure better security arrangements, in place of Third Avenue closed down for public use due to security issues.
That time, it was announced that the new 3.25km road will be completed within a few months. However, the work was first slowed down and then in July this year it was halted.
“Yes, work is suspended because of two reasons – shortage of funding and encroachment,” said an officer of the CDA.
Auction of commercial plots next month after which we are hopeful funds will be provided for this project, says CDA official
He said earthwork had already been completed and people were using a major portion of the unpaved road. Soon the work will resume on the project, he said.
Asked if the earthwork was completed how the work could be stopped because of encroachment, the officer said: “Actually, lack of funding is the major reason. Though there is the issue of encroachment as well, work was suspended because of the funding issue,” he said.
The begins short of the starting point of Bhara Kau bypass at Murree Road in Malpur. From the starting point till 1.5km, it is a straight road then it takes a turn. The road once constructed will be used as an alternative to Third Avenue which passes through the old Diplomatic Enclave and its extended area. Last year, this road was closed because of security issues.
In place of the Third Avenue, work on the road was started to provide better access to students and staff of Quaid-i-Azam University and people of Bari Imam and other adjoining areas.
The CDA officials said after construction of the new road, the division between the old enclave and the extended area would end and more embassies/missions could be accommodated in the extended area.
“Our auction of commercial plots is going to take place next months; therefore, we are hopeful this project will get due funding for early completion,” said an engineer of the CDA.
He said currently because of a number of ongoing projects, the civic agency was facing shortage of funds.
“It is our stated policy that we will not start new development projects till completion of the ongoing ones as our financial position is not sound,” the officer said.
Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2023