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ISLAMABAD, Aug 3: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has promised to end the citizens’ long wait for the opening of the new 7th Avenue on Aug 7. Public’s frustrations would continue, however, for several months elsewhere in the city where road engineering works are still going on.

These works involved construction of 7th and 9th avenues, underpasses and flyovers and widening of many roads at a total cost of Rs5.4 billion.

One CDA official said the aim of the massive undertaking was “to take care of the city’s traffic problems for the next 30 years”.

The three-and-a-half kilometre fast moving 7th Avenue bisects several sectors of the city connecting Khayaban-i-Suhrawardy with Khayaban-i-Iqbal. It has five underpasses and has cost Rs959 million in all. Poor planning and abnormal rains delayed this project by almost a year.

Instead of relying on its registered contractors, the CDA had awarded the job to big firms, Gammon and Matracon, jointly. The latter pulled out of the contract when problems delayed the construction of the underpass at Kalsoom Plaza chowk.

This compelled the CDA to call its two registered firms to rescue Gammon and the project was finally completed last month.

Other four underpasses on the 7th Avenue are located at Khushal Khan Khattak Road, Ibn-i-Sina Road, Nazimuddin Road and Jinnah Super Market Road.

Underpasses are also being constructed on Ibn-i-Sina Road, Jinnah Avenue and Nazimuddin Road.

9TH AVENUE: The 6.8 kilometre-long 9th Avenue, linking I.J. Principal Road and Khayaban-i-Iqbal, or Margalla Avenue, is being built at a cost of over Rs1 billion.

It has three underpasses but a source said the CDA had decided to construct flyovers on 9th Avenue’s remaining crossings.

“It is cheaper and quicker to build flyovers than underpasses,” the source said.

Some part of the 9th Avenue from Peshawar Mor to I.J. Principal Road is under construction these days.

Other roads which have been constructed or widened include the Murree Road from Faizabad to Serena Hotel.

This project, costing Rs336 million, also suffered inordinate delays. VIP movement on the road, heavy rains and shortage of asphalt were said to have caused the delay. Security departments looking after the VIP movements handed over the road to the contractor two-and-a-half months after the award of the contract.

According to the document submitted by CDA to the Supreme Court explaining delays in its development works, of the 36 road projects the CDA initiated in 2006-2007, 20 were completed in time, six ahead of schedule and 10 were delayed.

ROAD PROJECTS: Road projects included dualisation of Service Road (north) G-9, G-10, and G-11 at a cost Rs121.95 million, construction of second carriageway Khayaban-i-Iqbal service road (Rs37.368), dualisation of Nazimuddin Road passing through F-10 and F-11 (Rs75.598 million), construction of Fazl-i-Haq Road (Rs152.99 million), improvement of Daman-i-Koh Road (Rs12.85 million), repair of northern carriageway of Kashmir Highway from Toll Plaza to Grand Trunk Road (Rs36.39 million), improvement of Islamabad Highway (Rs321 million), construction of approach road to dumping site at Kuri Road (Rs77 million), dualisation of a road leading to Margalla Town (Rs14.72 million), construction of approach road to National Monument Shakkarparian (Rs6.432 million), dualisation of Rawal Road (Rs17.9 million), construction of roads in fruits and vegetable markets (Rs49.550 million), construction of roads in sector I-16 (Rs59.614 million), dualisation of Shahrah-i-Jamhuriat (Rs44.456 million), addition of a third lane from Zero Point to Faisal Chowk (Rs115.83 million), dualisation of service road (south) G-8 to G- 10 (Rs189.06 million) and dualisation of service road (south) G- 11 (Rs26.7 million).

UNDERPASSES: Twelve projects of underpasses were initiated during 2006-2007. Those under-construction or completed, with cost, are located at: Kalsoom Plaza Jinnah Avenue (Rs453 million), Shaheed-i-Millat Chowk (Rs617.8 million), H-8 and I-9 crossing (Rs249 million), I-8 and I-9 crossing (Rs247.195 million), Khushal Khan Road and College Road (Rs406.530 million).