Park Road project runs into another hiccup

Published February 21, 2024
(Clockwise from top) Labourers hammer the uncarpeted Park Road; another uses a blower to clear dust from it while excavators level gravel to give shape to the artery which would connect Chak Shahzad and adjoining areas with Rawal Dam Interchange. — Photos by Mohammad Asim
(Clockwise from top) Labourers hammer the uncarpeted Park Road; another uses a blower to clear dust from it while excavators level gravel to give shape to the artery which would connect Chak Shahzad and adjoining areas with Rawal Dam Interchange. — Photos by Mohammad Asim

ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) after missing the first deadline extended the Park Road expansion project till May, while the project has encountered another problem because of construction in its right of way.

Hundreds of people face traffic congestion issues daily because of ongoing work, which was started in April last year and was supposed to be completed by December. Sources said that so far, around 45pc of the work is completed.

However, officials of the engineering wing of the CDA have been attributing the delay to 11 utility service networks, which fall in the alignment of the road. The officials said that the service shifting work is in the advanced stage.

“The deadline of the project has been extended and now its completion time is May, we are making all our efforts to get it completed within the new deadline,” said an official of CDA.

CDA extends deadline till May; boundary wall of medical varsity in ‘right of way’

The CDA had awarded Rs1.9 billion contract for the expansion of said road to the National Logistics Cell under clause 42(f) of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules, which allows bidding among government agencies only.

“For the last around one year, we have been facing difficulties. The CDA should look into this issue and it [project] should be completed as soon as possible,” said Zakir Hussain, who lives in the Tramri area.

Another motorist Hasnain Abbasi said that this road is one of the busiest roads and that CDA should pay special focus to the early completion of the expansion work. “During peak hour, people face a lot of problems,” he said.

In past, Park Road was a relatively quiet road since only residents of some old villages/towns such as Lakhwal, Banigala, Rawal Town, Shahzad Town, Tramri, and Chatta Bakhtawar were dependent on this road. But with the growth of the adjoining areas with several housing societies, educational institutions and marquees it has become one of the busiest roads of the city.

At present, the 7.4km long road has two lanes and to make the road better for traffic, the CDA is adding one extra lane on each side to make it a three-lane artery, besides overhauling existing lanes.

New hiccup

According to sources, a portion of the project has run into a new controversy as the boundary wall of King Hamad Nursing University, according to the CDA, falls in the right of way of the road, which is a “violation of the master plan of Islamabad”.

An official of CDA told Dawn that the 1050-foot-long boundary wall falls in the right of way of the road at a distance of 80 to 150 feet from the centre line instead of 300 feet.

The official said that a portion of the building also slightly falls in the right of way.

He said that as per the master plan of Islamabad, the right of way of this road must be 600 feet from the centre on either side.

Sources claimed that the planning wing of the CDA in February last year had cautioned other departments of the civic agency to get the construction of the boundary wall and the building stopped, but nothing happened. He said that when the Park Road project started, there was only a makeshift boundary wall around the varsity, but since then it has been reinforced with concrete. A CDA official said the health ministry was not to blame since the CDA had allotted 237 kanal in 2019 for the said university and also approved the building plan.

Sources claimed the issue would be taken up with the health ministry and if it agreed, they could be given adjacent alternate land to get the right of way vacated.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2024

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