ISLAMABAD: With the town growing at a fast pace, Capital Development Authority (CDA) faces a dearth of experts for a string of its mega development projects.

CDA Chairman Kamran Lashari admits that shortage of professionals has become an impediment to the town’s development. “It is hard to find capable planners, engineers and administrators,” he told Daily Times recently.
Lashari said that the standard of professionalism of the consultants and the contractors hired by the CDA was not up to the mark as they failed to deliver quality.

Poor workmanship is evident in a host of recently completed projects which show that in their haste to meet deadlines and avoid penalty, the contractors often tend to compromise quality and as a result flaws begin to surface soon.
Be it the roads, pavements, parks or erecting fences, such defects only highlight the fact that people engaged by CDA for some reason do not put their best forward.

The China Chowk underpass project is one glaring example of how the consultants and the contractors ignored quality and built what earlier on had appeared to be an eyesore. Fortunately, the authorities took stern notice of the flaws and directed that they be removed. Work is still on even at this late stage.

The CDA chairman said that the tasks and projects were getting bigger and if the CDA began developing two or three new sectors, more and more people would be required.

Besides shortage of planners and engineers, the CDA also lack quality plumbers, carpenters and masons, said Lashari. “If we have to achieve international standards we have to go for capacity building both within the CDA and outside,” he said.

In developing the town, the CDA also finds itself without the skills, product and technology. One example, he pointed out was that of curbstones. “These cannot be made here although we have the money,” he said.

The consultants, contractors as well as the CDA all have the problems of capacity and capability, Lashari said. “The capacity and skills of the contractors we hire is often of low standard and our experience with consultants whom we pay big sums of money is also very sad,” the CDA chief said.

Most of the CDA’s projects have faced immense delay as a result of contractors and consultants who have gone about executing them at a snail’s pace. Their tardiness has caused great inconvenience to motorists and people living nearby.

Besides the China Chowk Underpass that got massively delayed another project that continues to face hiccups is the Faisal Avenue Flyover. Although the authorities claim that its underpasses would be opened to traffic late next month, it appears an unlikely proposition considering the slowness at the worksite.

Although the CDA is now on the verge of launching quite a few big projects, among them the Zero Point Interchange, the chances of their getting stuck along the way is a distinct possibility.

Source: Daily Times