ISLAMABAD-Besides passage of two months, the federal government is yet to take decision regarding development of Islamabad Expressway with Capital Development Authority’s own resources.

After being neglected in federal budget and a cold response received from the private housing societies, the incumbent management of CDA had decided in September 2019 to develop Korang Bridge and an underpass at PWD as part of Islamabad Expressway Signal Free Corridor from its own resources.

The CDA had requested the federal government to allow the civic body for building aforementioned infrastructures with its own resources. However, the response of said correspondence is still awaited besides passing two months.

Sources informed that the federal government is reluctant to allow CDA to do these projects with its own resources as the civic body has not only sought a go ahead but also requested for financial adjustment on later stages against these projects.

The signal free corridor project was a brainchild of previous government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and it was divided into two portions, from Zero Point to Koral and Koral to Rawat.

The first portion has already been completed with construction of 4 interchanges at I-8, Sohan, Khanna and Koral.

But the second portion leading towards Rawat was facing delays due to lack of funding as earlier the civic body had declined to fund it while the project could not get required funds in PSDP for the year 2019-20 as well.

The previous government had allocated Rs7 billion in Public Sector Development Programme 2018-19 for the project.

However, it was the incumbent government, which excluded the project while revising the PSDP.

The said portion of Islamabad Expressway is a picture of neglect and poor performance of government due to its dilapidated condition. Potholes and craters have turned the road into a permanent nuisance for commuters while daily traffic congestion is a mental torture for routine travellers.

It was decided after a visit of Islamabad Expressway by authorities in September that an amount of Rs1.5 billion will be allocated from the surplus funds generated by the CDA for the betterment of the city to at least start the project. “The proposal seems to be shelved by the federal government as no response has been made so far,” an official informed, adding: “The present government is looking uninterested to fund this project.” According to an approved plan, in the second phase, the expressway was to be expanded from Koral to Naval Anchorage – a 5-kilometre stretch in first package.

It was decided that existing 4 lanes from Koral Interchange to GT Road would be increased up to 8 lanes by adding two rigid lanes and rehabilitating the flexible lanes. Three bridges – at Korang, Bhinder and the Railway stop – were also a part of the approved project in addition to the service roads.

On the other side, when contacted, the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on CDA Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan told that we are trying to complete this project with the funding of the federal government and a token allocation of Rs500 million has already been made in PSDP 2019-20.