Rs50m allotted for PM’s helipad access

Published: January 10, 2016
The half kilometre, 30-foot wide road will connect gate three of the Prime Minister Office to the helipad located adjacent to the President House. PHOTO: FILE

The half kilometre, 30-foot wide road will connect gate three of the Prime Minister Office to the helipad located adjacent to the President House. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: An amount of Rs50 million from the national kitty will be spent to give the country’s prime minister a “short, direct and hassle free” approach to an adjoining helipad from his official residence.

Documents obtained by The Express Tribune suggest that the Development Working Party (DWP) of the capital’s civic agency has approved the project, titled ‘Construction of Approach Road from Prime Minister House to Helipad of Presidency’.

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The plan involves the construction of a 0.5 kilometre-long, 30-foot wide road from gate 3 of the Prime Minister Office (PMO) to the helipad, located adjacent to the President House.

The PM House currently lacks this facility, and the premier used to travel three extra miles from his official residence before boarding the aircraft. The decision was originally taken during the previous PPP government; however, former PM Yousaf Raza Gilani had abandoned the undertaking.

The decision has been taken at a time when a recent report of the Federal Directorate of Education lamented that a due to lack of proper infrastructure in public educational institutes in Islamabad, the dropout rate among students was on the rise every year.

Interestingly, the government claims to have insufficient funds to make functional the much delayed Bhara Kahu Degree College. Due to this alleged lack of funds, the federal government till December 2015 only released Rs3.7 million out of the total promised Rs9 million for the ongoing financial year.

An education expert believes that Rs50 million is enough to construct a new degree college in Islamabad.

“The proposed road is a safe and short route connecting the PM Office with Aiwan-e-Sadr,” reads the document, adding that Rs37.1 million will be spent on road work, Rs3.5 million on electrical and mechanical work, Rs5.2 million on horticulture work along the road, and Rs2.9 million on the installation of lights. After its completion, the project will also incur and annual recurring expense of approximately Rs2 million.

Documents suggest that an initial environmental examination of the project has also been done, in which the project has been described as feasible. The proposed road will stretch from the PM Secretariat and pass north of the Supreme Court’s car park before ending at the Presidency.

Due to its fragile financial situation, the capital’s civic agency had earlier requested that the government fund the project through the Public Sector Development Program.  “[The request] was returned with a direction that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) may avoid further correspondence on the issue and take up the project without any further delay and execute it out of its own resources,” the document reads.

Now, the CDA will undertake the road’s construction at its own expense. According to a press statement issued by the CDA on Thursday, the project is among six development schemes approved during the 38th meeting of the CDA and DWP, held at authority’s headquarters.

The meeting was presided over by the CDA Chairman Maroof Afzal, and attended by CDA board members, senior officers from the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, as well as the Capital Administration and Development Division.

“PC-I of construction of approach road from gate 3 of PMO to helipad of Aiwan-e-Sadar has also been approved,” said the statement, adding that all administrative buildings and interlink roads in the area have already been completed except the said road.

Dr Mussadiq Malik, the PM’s spokesperson, was contacted for comment but did not respond till the filing of this report.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Insane
    Jan 10, 2016 - 9:59AM

    Huh Imran Khan should make the Degree College. Not headache of federal govt or PMLNRecommend

  • Adnoon Siddiqui
    Jan 10, 2016 - 10:20AM

    Thank you Mian Sahab for spending our tax money in the rightful place. You have every right to make the helipad. We dont care about good health and education facilities we only care about your leisure and shall forever vote for youRecommend

  • Asad
    Jan 10, 2016 - 10:53AM

    The project was originally abandoned by the previous PPP govt… THATS how ridiculous it is…Recommend

  • Whatacountry
    Jan 10, 2016 - 11:03AM

    The contract has been awarded to the most experienced contractor by the PM office. The company is registered as Overheadunderpass Constructions Ltd Head Office Lahore Punjab.Recommend

  • Pakistan
    Jan 10, 2016 - 1:52PM

    I pray this awful man has an accident on this very road. Then my taxes will be well spent and the prayers of the poor people of this country will be fulfilled. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jan 10, 2016 - 2:11PM

    Shaming the shameless… a futile exercise……something more drastic is needed.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jan 10, 2016 - 3:18PM

    @Adnoon Siddiqui:
    why a helipad when he can be fitted with an Iron Man outfit ?Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Jan 10, 2016 - 5:31PM

    This is for those PML N trolls who criticizes peole who believes that the govt is spending tax payers money in non-productive projects. Recently, the govt ( Fianance dept ) has also approved Rs 50 million for enhancement of security in Umra Jutt ( official residence of PM family ). Then in 2014, the govt ( finance dept) approved Rs 1.2 billion for buying bullet proof vehicles. This is called democratic rulers of Pakistan, while the poor is becoming poorer with no basic living standards, no electricity, no 1 square a day food, no employment, no health facility & no education.. keep voting them in & no complaint.Recommend

  • Defence Analyst
    Jan 10, 2016 - 7:49PM

    No clean drinking water in most parts of punjab including lahore and this PM is spending our tax money for his vested interests. Children are dying in hospitals and these cruel leader are working for their vested interests. We need china type revolution in our country in which all corrupt and cruel politicians should be hanged.Recommend

  • Hassan
    Jan 10, 2016 - 8:53PM

    The poor leaders of the poor nation can do anything for their vested interests no matter at what cost, if these so called leaders are so scary by the nation than who forced them to become the prime minister, minister or a president. We are the state our leaders proudly announces that they have got loan installment, enjoying luxurious life, benefits whole family and prefer personal interests, shame on our leaders and shame on us for electing such corrupt, opportunist and selfish leaders. It is good to say ‘Worst Democracy is better than Best Dictatorship’ but in Pakistan democracy only means corruption and nepotism one should not wonder if our prime minister announced an action plan for his 7 future generations. The poor people of our country will always be a voter not a ruler or leader. Shame on u King minister Recommend

  • salman
    Jan 10, 2016 - 9:18PM

    I must have slept a few extra months… Is it 1st April already?

    This has to be a joke….

    On second thoughts the jokes on us….Recommend

  • doom
    Jan 10, 2016 - 11:47PM

    “…the premier used to travel three extra miles…”

    ET, why does the article suddenly switch to miles in the middle? For the convenience of your readers, let me add that 3 miles is 4.82 kilometres.

    So a 5 minute drive at the most. Also, would it not be cheaper to put in a new helipad instead. Like, just draw a circle with chalk. What are those patches at the back? Tennis court and volley-ball court…? First, judging from the size of our premier, he probably doesn’t play. And even if someone does, just make one multi-purpose and use the other for the helicopter. Recommend

  • Obaid
    Jan 11, 2016 - 1:18AM

    I live in karachi administration society. Mere area ke road banadein. I along with the tens of thousands who live in this area spend thousands on rupees every year on suspension repairs and travel more than “your extra three miles” everday to avoid flooded roads and potholes. You might have even seen it on major news channels today. Well the repairs wont take even 10% of your Rs. 50,000,000 budget and tens of thousands of pakistani citizens will as oposed to “ONE” citizen. With all due thanks in advance!
    A pakistani citizen


  • syed & syed
    Jan 11, 2016 - 1:50AM

    Do make road leading to helipad for your own convenience but do it out of your own overseas bank accounts and the allocated money be spent on education and health facilities for poorsRecommend

  • Zahid
    Jan 11, 2016 - 3:05AM

    Who cares Barack Kabul Degree collage PML N don’t want to educate people but PM Halipad is more important, Punjab kingdom know how to expense people tax money, they are not worrying about health education etc,Recommend

  • ZAFFAR Akbar
    Jan 11, 2016 - 3:57AM

    Yes that’s why they say” Old habits die hard”.Of course our genius prime minister is so busy milching the national exchequer that he can’t afford wasting his very precious time on travelling the 3 extra miles.Keep it up remember half of your tenure is gone n there are lots of “HELIPADS”to be made .Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jan 11, 2016 - 7:14AM

    There is nothing wrong in it. PM of Pakistan is a very busy person and also in a great danger. Safe but quick helicopter service is essential for him to move around without disturbing traffic flow of common citizens.Recommend

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