ISLAMABAD: The much-delayed Zero Point Interchange Project would be launched on August 14, a high-ranking Capital Development Authority (CDA) official said on Tuesday, pleading anonymity.

The official said that the contract had been awarded to a Karachi-based construction firm, Maqbool Associate. Earlier, CDA Chairman Kamran Lashari had announced at a pres briefing that the ambitious project would be launched on July 15 but it could not take off for one reason or the other.

The official said that the firm had been awarded contract on the basis of projects, including flyovers and interchanges, executed in Karachi. The firm is currently executing a Rs 1.5 billion worth of project in Hyderabad.

The official said the project would be executed under two contracts. In the first contract, three major loops of the interchange would be constructed, while in the second, two more loops would be constructed on Shahrah-e-Suharwardy and at Shakarparian.

Alternative traffic routes: The project would be completed within two years costing around Rs 2.33 billion. He said the authority had finalised alternative traffic routes to keep the traffic moving during the execution of the project.

Under the plan, the contractor would build slip roads and loops in the initial stages of the project to ensure a smooth traffic flow. He said work on slip roads and loops would be completed within six months followed by the construction of underpasses and flyovers.

The contractor, he said, would make it sure that there was no damage to the environment during the construction work. He said all diversions would be properly carpeted. To avoid any unnecessary delay and encourage the contractor, the official said, the civic body had also announced a bonus for the contractor.

Bonus for contractor: According to Pakistan Engineering Council rules, a firm is given up to 0.05 percent of the total cost of the project as bonus if it completes the project before the set deadline.

The project would consist of 12 underpasses and flyovers. All roads would be four-lane except for Islamabad Highway, which is being widened to a five-lane road.

He said consultations on the loop and slip road falling near Pakistan Monument were in progress, adding that the proposal for construction of a tunnel at the point had been rejected.

Increase in project cost: Zero Point Interchange Project was proposed in 90s but it could not take off for one reason or the other, causing the cost to escalate from Rs 400 million to Rs 2.33 billion in 2008. app
Source: Daily Times