CDA has no funds for pending projects

An edited version of this story was first published in The Express Tribune on Nov 17, 2012.

Islamabad – “Funds are being arranged.”

This is what the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is doing to resolve problems it is facing in completing four of its five ongoing projects related to roads and bridges, the cabinet division informed the senate on Thursday.

The projects are scheduled for completion between late 2012 and mid-2013, according to information provided by the cabinet division. The information was released in response to a question raised by Senator Mir Wali Muhammad Badini in October.

Three of the five projects have a start date of 2011 while the other two started in 2012.

The dualisation of Service Road North in sectors I-10 and I-11 was supposed to be completed by October 26, 2012. That was a month ago.

The Rs70.7m project ran into problems of “inadequate funding under self financing” and of shifting electricity poles which are in the way of construction, according to information from the cabinet division.

CDA spokesperson Ramzan Sajid confirmed that the project has experienced issues related to shifting of electricity poles and civil works. He said the matters are being resolved.

The construction of Kashmir Highway’s phase 1 and phase 2, with estimated agreement costs of Rs1.65 billion and Rs1.7 billion respectively, has to be completed by February 2013, but the project has run into trouble due to CDA’s financial crunch.

Similarly, the construction of Margalla Avenue from the Grand Trunk Road to sector D-12 came to a halt because of a lack of funds.

Possession problems and the presence of a graveyard in the proposed allotment of road also added to the project’s misfortune. CDA’s planning wing is revising the alignment of the road and the half a billion rupees required for the project is being arranged, the cabinet division informed the senate.

CDA couldn’t develop sectors I-11/1 and I-11/2 because of shortage of funds, as well.

The cash-strapped civic agency tried raising some money in the summer of 2012, but its non transparent pre-qualification process for the bidding of commercial plots didn’t go too far. The prime minister halted the bidding process in August and the resultant inquiry led to a change in the CDA’s top management.

Under the new CDA chairman Tahir Shahbaz, the CDA is again to auction the commercial projects albeit with an open auction procedure this time around.

None of the projects have been stopped,” he said. “We are trying to manage the resources and to expedite the projects.

Projects under consideration for the future:

Roads

–         Construction of the 11th Avenue

–         Extension of the 7th Avenue

–         Widening of IJ Principal Road

–         Widening of Islamabad Highway from Koral Chowk to Rawat

Bridges

–         Interchange at Peshawar More at intersection of 9th Avenue and Kashmir Highway

–         Interchange of 7th Avenue at intersection with Khayaban-e Suhrwardi and Kashmir Highway

–         Interchange at 9th Avenue at intersection with IJ Principal Road

–         Interchange at Jinnah Avenue at intersection with 9th Avenue

(Source: cabinet division response to the senate in question hour)

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