ISLAMABAD: A committee on Islamabad Model Prison has urged the concerned departments to expedite work on the long-delayed project.
A sub-committee on the construction of the model prison met at the site of the project on earlier in the week and reviewed progress on the project. All stakeholders agreed to expedite work on the prison. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) was directed to build an access road to the project. Currently, in absence of its own jail, thousands of prisoners of Islamabad — whether sentenced or under trail — are interned at the Adiala Jail Rawalpindi and some other jails in Punjab. In February this year, former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal had inaugurated work on the project for the second time — the first foundation stone for the project was laid by then-chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in December 2013.
During Monday’s meeting, the project was thoroughly scrutinised by all stakeholders. They agreed to carry out their respective work on priority bases.
A source said that CDA Member Planning Asad Mehboob Kiyani had briefed the participants that there was no possibility for the provision of sewerage lines at the site because it will take too much time to lay them.
Instead, the CDA advised that an exclusive sewerage treatment plant should be set up to cater to the needs of the prison.
While construction work on the facility started around two months ago, the authorities have yet to acquire land for an access road for the jail from the Kashmir Highway. At the moment, the site can only be accessed via a mud track through the fields.
However, it was also decided that the CDA will provide a link road from the jail site to main Kashmir Highway while the National Highway Authority (NHA) would build an interchange. The prison is expected to be built on around 90 acres of land in Sector H-16 at an estimated cost of Rs3.9 billion. Once complete, it will be able to house around 2,000 inmates.
The facility, termed a model prison, is slated to serve as character building and reformation centre for criminals so that when they complete their sentences and return to the outside world, they do not opt for criminal activity again. Plans for the jail include a host of facilities such as visitor rooms, investigation rooms, special courtrooms as well as rooms for conjugal visits. Unlike other jails in and around the country, they will have separate sections for housing under-trial inmates.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of Islamabad High Court (IHC), CDA, the Islamabad chief commissioner, NHA, Planning Ministry, Pak PWD Islamabad and Sikander Ajam Khan.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2018.