ISLAMABAD-The Capital Development Authority decided to initiate construction of Korang Bridge and an underpass at PWD as part of Islamabad Expressway Signal Free Corridor from its own resources.

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.

However, the high ups of the city during a visit to the Islamabad Expressway on Tuesday decided to start the project through CDA’s own resources. An amount of Rs1.5 billion will be allocated from the surplus funds generated by the CDA for the betterment of the city.

According to an approved plan, in the second phase, the highway was to be expanded from Koral to Naval Anchorage – a 5-kilometre stretch in first package – while the 7 kilometres distance from Naval Anchorage to GT Road in Rawat in the second 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.

After facing cold response from federal government, CDA has decided to introduce interim remedies to ensure smooth flow of traffic on the said portion of expressway.

However, it was discussed during a visit by Chairman CDA and IG Islamabad that rather than short-term measures like protected u turns full project should be launched. Consequently, instructions have been issued that a letter may be written to Finance and Planning Commission for permission to start the project with CDA’s own resources.

Chief Commissioner Islamabad Amir Ali Ahmed while talking to the Nation has informed that we are going to seek a go ahead from concerned ministries to execute this project.

“It is expected that a reply in this regard will be revived by end of week and tenders should be issued next week for development work”, he informed.

A press release issued by CDA has elaborated further that in order to cater increasing traffic burden and population in the adjoining areas construction of remaining portion of Signal Free Corridor has become need of the hour.

However under PSDP programme next year Federal Government would be requested for allocation of funds in this regard.