Work on PWD underpass, Korang bridge yet to kick off

CDA official says lack of funds delayed work on these projects

APP September 14, 2020
Incidents of pedestrians being hit by motorists while crossing the road have also been reported on the Kashmir Highway. PHOTO: INP


Even though over two and a half months have passed since ground was broken for the construction of the PWD Underpass and expansion of the Korang Bridge at the Islamabad Expressway, not a single brick has been laid for either.

Residents said that the apex civic authority of the federal capital, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had claimed that it was constructing the Rs420 million PWD underpass and Rs628.5 million Korang Bridge using its resources. While ground for the project was finally broken in July and Rs500 million had been allocated for the projects under the Public Sector Development Project (PSDP) in the fiscal year 2019-20, work on the ground has yet to commence.

Residents of Pakistan Town, Korang Town, River Garden, Bahria Town, Media Town, Doctors Town, Police Foundation, Naval Anchorage, Jinnah Garden, Soan Gardens and localities up to Rawat have stressed upon the federal government to start the construction of these projects at the earliest to help solve traffic woes, especially on the key thoroughfare of Islamabad Expressway, which connects Rawalpindi to Islamabad. The road also serves as a conduit for local and heavy traffic, particularly travelling from Lahore and other parts of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

While the expressway has been made a signal-free corridor from Zero Point to Gulberg Green, the remaining 13 km stretch is in a poor state, residents said.

They added that a project to widen the Expressway from Zero Point to Rawat had been inaugurated by deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif in July 2015. The CDA was supposed to complete the signal-free, five-lane Expressway from the Korang Nullah to T-Chowk in Rawat by December 2018, but the project was abandoned due to a variety of reasons.

Given the problems faced by commuters and regular logjams on the road, a few years ago, the CDA had announced to repair the road from Korang to Rawat, besides constructing the PWD underpass to ease the traffic flow.

When contacted, CDA Spokesperson Mazhar Hussain told APP that construction on three projects is expected to start within the next 10 to 15 days.

On the construction of the PWD underpass and Korang bridge expansion projects, the official conceded that work on the two projects had stalled because of funding issues. However, he assured that these have now been resolved.

On the construction of the Rawal Dam Chowk interchange, he said that work was in process for developing an environmental impact report.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2020.


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