ISLAMABAD: After the disapproval of funds by the federal government for the second phase of up-gradation and expansion of Islamabad Expressway, Capital Development Authority (CDA) too lost its interest in the project as it has also failed to complete phase-I of the project properly.
According to PC-I of the project, the first phase of the expansion of expressway has been completed from Zero Point to Koral Interchange and made signal-free, but Khana Interchange, which was part of the first phase, has not yet been completed.
Work on Khanna Interchange is still underway with a slow pace which, as per the CDA plans was to be completed in December 2018.
While the construction work for the expansion of the highway from Koral to Rawat has been halted for over a year due to unavailability of funds.
When contacted, Syed Safdar Ali Shah, the Director Public Relation (DPR) of the CDA told Pakistan Today that the work on Khanna Interchange is still underway while the government has not approved funds for the second phase of the project.
He said work on the second phase from Koral to Rawat on the G.T. Road, will be started as soon as the Federal Government will release funds for this project allocated under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).
It is pertinent to mention here that the total price of the project is 21 billion rupees and was to be completed in phases. The project work, from Koral Interchange to G.T. Road, worth over Rs10 billion, has been halted for over a year as the PTI government refused to fund it and asked CDA to complete the project on its own but CDA has not enough funds to carry out the mega project.
The project of widening of Islamabad Expressway to five lanes from Zero Point to Rawat GT Road was inaugurated by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in July 2015.
Last year, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had directed the finance ministry to allocate a fund of Rs. 10 billion in PSDP which was subsequently rejected by the incumbent government.
The expansion and up-gradation of the Islamabad Expressway are required to be completed rapidly as the frequent traffic jams during rush hours are causing difficulties to commuters on a daily basis.