ISLAMABAD: The wait has ended; the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has set July 5 as the inauguration date of two of its megaprojects — Zero Point Interchange and Dualisation of Lehtrar Road –that have faced numerous delays over the years.
A ceremony will be held at Pakistan Monument, Shakarparian, on July 5. Prime Minister (PM) Yousuf Raza Gilani will be the chief guest.
PM Gilani will also inaugurate the first phase of Park Enclave Islamabad, a residential sector for the ultra-rich. The sector, referred to by some officials as “Islamabad’s jewel for the high and mighty”, is an environment-friendly housing scheme in Zone-4 of the capital, parallel to Park Road. In line with CDA chairperson’s words, the authority is going to develop a residential sector after 20 years.
A total of 1,300 housing units of one kanal each will be offered in two phases. CDA is expecting to earn a total of Rs10 billion from sale of residential and commercial plots in the locality. Out of the total budget announced by the CDA for 2011-12, the authority is expecting to earn at least Rs4 billion from this project.
The PM will also inaugurate the repeatedly delayed ZPI and Lehtrar Road projects. The ZPI project, which was supposed to cost Rs2.2 billion, eventually hit the national exchequer to the tune of Rs4.1 billion, according to the recently revised PC-1 of the project.
The CDA missed the deadline for completion at least twice. Initially, city mangers had announced August 14, 2010 as the inauguration date for the ZPI project; however, due to delays in payments to the contractor amid a financial crunch, the CDA pushed the date to December 31. But, following complications in the reinforcement of rock along one of ZPI’s loops, which passes by the Pakistan Monument, the deadline was extended indefinitely.
The delay escalated the cost to Rs4.1 billion, almost twice the initial budget. There is still an outstanding liability of Rs200 million on the project. The project director claimed the loop beneath the monument was not a part of the initial project, which is what led to the delay. The law and order situation, VVIP movement, rain, and shortage of funds are other reasons cited by CDA officials as causes for the holdup.
The PM will also inaugurate the eight-kilometre Lehtrar Road, which he broke ground for on October 10, 2009. Like the ZPI project, the project also witnessed delays and escalation in cost. It was completed at a cost of around Rs1 billion, nearly double the initial estimate.
The road has been widened from Captain Naeem Tufail Shaheed Chowk, commonly known as Tramri Chowk, up to the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (Pinstech). The project will facilitate commuters travelling to and from Lehtrar, Nilore, Kahuta, Alipur Farash, Simly Dam, Pinstech, Murree, Azad Kashmir, Bagh and Rawlakot. It was executed by Maaksons Pvt Ltd.