Snail’s pace work on Expressway

THE Federal Government has decided to release Rs 10.75 billion to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for completion of Islamabad Expressway Signal-Free Corridor. According to a notification issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, the grant would be utilised to carry out work on the third phase of expansion of the Expressway ie from Koral Chowk to Rawat.
In view of the traffic congestion on the Expressway, its expansion should have been completed much earlier but the project could not be materialized due to lack of vision and proper planning by the capital’s civic agency. Credit goes to former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, who approved the project and launched it in 2015 but delay and changes in the expansion work marred its execution and that is why commuters face immense difficulties on a daily basis. Strangely enough, CDA changed the plan of converting the portion from Zero Point to Faizabad from three to five to three to four, which means that another expansion will have to be carried out during the next few years due to ever increasing load of traffic. Similarly, Soan Interchange is faulty as there are no proper approaches on both the sides despite the fact that space was there to add loops. Now work on Khanna Interchange is in progress but the pace of work is negligible and it has become a traumatic experience to commuters on a daily basis. The deadline for completion of the work has been extended twice but still it is far from nearing completion, which speaks volumes about state of affairs in CDA. Now that the Government is releasing one billion rupees during current financial year, completion of Khanna Interchange should become a priority and progress monitored at the highest level. Similarly, expansion work on the remaining portion from Koral to Rawat should be awarded in chunks to different contractors to ensure its speedy execution in view of the traffic mess that we witness on this portion due to road constraints.

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