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CDA projects continue to run into trouble

ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) Grand Prix pace has brought about a big change in Islamabad yet its ambitious plans continue to run into trouble.

First the city fathers blamed the contractors and the consultants for delaying several projects but now the planning aspect has also become a point of concern.

The latest example of poor planning that has drawn CDA public flak are some of the intersections falling on the 9th Avenue, inaugurated last week.

CDA Chairman Kamran Lashari admitted on Sunday that more attention needed to be focused on planning. “The 9th Avenue is not a question of quality, rather these are the planning aspects we need to improve upon,” he told Daily Times.

Consultants: “We are also not happy with the consultants whom we pay big sums of money but they do not deliver,” he pointed out.

The CDA built three underpasses on the avenue while opting to construct another five later, among them interchanges.

This decision, or lack of planning, meant that a section of the eight-kilometre avenue sees traffic snarls, especially at the Peshawar Morr Intersection.

Although work is now on to re-do the troublesome spot, the embarrassment caused to CDA could have been clearly avoided if some serious forward planning had been done.

But Lashari, who had termed the 9th Avenue as the “Motorway of Islamabad” while opening it on February 24, said that it would eventually improve the way quite a few other roads had come up.

“You would see that the Murree Road and the 7th Avenue have improved with time, so this one too would turn out to be among Islamabad’s top roads,” he said.

Encouraged by its 7th Avenue masterpiece, the CDA went ahead replicating the same model on the 9th Avenue but made the blunder of not making it completely signal-free before declaring it open.

The 9th Avenue example would have come, as a rude wake up call for the planners or, the CDA’s planning wing to be more specific but their clinical quickness to stem the problem is appreciable.

Heavy machines are at the worksite and a great sense of urgency is evident with work going on even late at night at the Peshawar Morr Intersection.

Although one stretch of the 9th Avenue from Kahsmir Highway up to IJP Road is without traffic signals, it is the side where the road bisects the Ibne Sina Road, Jinnah Avenue and Nazimuddin Road, which are the other problem spots though not as bad as Peshawar Morr.

In a recent interview with Daily Times, Lashari had underlined the need for capacity building of contractors, consultants as well as the CDA. “We grow in quantity but not in quality,” he had said.

Some of the recent projects of CDA are examples of poor quality with the China Chowk Underpasses one case in point although the authorities have tried to absolve themselves of the blame by claiming it was a project supervised by consultants. However, a senior works official said that all the flaws were being rectified.

Source: Daily Times

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