Fate of Bhara Kahu bypass hangs in the balance | Pakistan Today

Fate of Bhara Kahu bypass hangs in the balance

  • Indecisive govt yet again hands over the project to NHA

The fate of much-hyped project of Bhara Kahu bypass road hangs in the balance as the federal government has yet again awarded it to National Highway Authority (NHA), while taking the charge back from Capital Development Authority (CDA). This is the second time the government has taken it away from the CDA and awarded it to the NHA.

A CDA official, on condition of anonymity, said that “this is the second time, the federal government has taken the project away from the civic authority and has given it to NHA which implies that the Capital Administration and Development Division minister and federal government are not on the same page.”

Malik Israr, a resident of Bhara Kahu, strongly criticised the government for being indecisive about the project.

“People of Bhara Kahu need a bypass due to severe traffic jams, so just construct the bypass as the shifting of charges is not helping any one. The government should have planned it beforehand,” said Israr.

Due to ill-planning, the construction work has not been started yet despite the lapse of two years since the announcement, he added.

Hamid Nawaz, another citizen, said that NHA had constructed two U-turns, one at Athal Chowk and second at Jughi Stop, and due to ill-planning, the traffic jams are more frequent.

It is noted that last year, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) announced the construction of the Bhara Kahu bypass road. The authority decided to construct the road on Nawaz Sharif’s directives in order to ease growing traffic congestion on Murree Road in Bhara Kahu’s commercial area.

It was later decided that the National Highway Authority (NHA) would construct the road, and then announced that the CDA, again, would execute the project. And now, the decision is again changed due to which the completion of the much-discussed project lost its steam before its start.

According to a tentative estimate for the construction of the three-kilometre bypass road, it will cost Rs 1.8 billion. In the new proposal, the road would stretch over 7km and would cost between Rs 1.9 billion, and Rs 2.2 billion if it ends at Satra Meel.

Earlier, CADD Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhary had said that the ruling PML-N is committed to the project and it will be completed in time.

The CDA officials had also expressed their commitment to the project but it seems they lost interest due to the indecisiveness of the federal government.

The CDA had also formulated a road design but the consultants on the project were of the opinion that the design was not viable and would complicate traffic flow.

Upon which, the CDA began devising an alternate route and when it was about to finalise any of them, the federal government again directed NHA to construct it instead.

When contacted, CDA Planning Wing member Asad Mehboob Kayani said that the project is at the disposal of NHA now and CDA have nothing to do with it.

Farid Sabri

The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be contacted at his email [email protected], and Twitter: @FaridSabri786

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