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Monday July 15, 2024

CDA striving for ahead of schedule completion

By Mobarik A Virk
April 19, 2017

SOHAN, KHANA INTERCHANGES

Islamabad

The Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA), Sheikh Anser Aziz, who also is the elected mayor of the federal capital said that all out efforts would be made to complete the Sohan inter-change on the Islamabad Expressway ahead of its scheduled date of completion.

The Sohan and Khana interchanges, are part of making the existing Islamabad Highway/Expressway a ‘Signal Free Corridor’ from Rawat to Faisal Chowk on the Allama Iqbal Avenue (old Margalla Road).

The Authority has already completed the most important ‘Karal Chowk’ interchange, which has been thrown open for traffic flow in all directions. “The scheduled date for completion of this part of the project is October this year. However, we are making our best efforts to bring this date of completion down by at least 3 or 2 months. In fact we are aiming to complete this Sohan interchange by July or August, 2017 at the most,” Sheikh Anser Aziz said while talking to ‘The News’ Tuesday.

Meanwhile, we also have set the process of initiating work on this ‘Karal Chowk to Rawat’ segment of this ‘Signal Free Corridor’. The process of tendering and short-listing has already set rolling and the physical work on this part will start soon,” the CDA Chairman said.

The traffic flow on the Islamabad Expressway from Faisal Chowk to Gulberg Green, beyond Karal Chowk, has become smooth with the completion of the ‘Karal Chowk’ interchange.  But the narrow 2-lane bridge on Korang Nullah created a huge bottleneck where prolonged traffic jams are witnessed almost throughout the day. The situation becomes particularly painful in the morning and later afternoon when people are going to work or returning home at the end of the day.

Sheikh Anser Aziz stressed that the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who launched this project soon after coming into power, is keen to see the project being completed on time to facilitate the general public travelling on this most important road.

However, the CDA chairman pointed out that the Islamabad Expressway being the VVIP route. “Each time there is a VVIP movement, the work has to be stopped for two to three hours at least. These disruptions, which are pretty frequent, can cause a delay in completion of the project. But we will make our best efforts to complete this project as early as possible,” Sheikh Anser Aziz said.

The chairman also added that the service lane along the Expressway on Sohan side will also be improved to minimise the problems being faced by the people living in those areas.

On the other hand, the Project Director, Mumtaz Hussain, when contacted said that so far 20 per cent of the physical work on Sohan interchange has already been completed and pace of work is being maintained to meet the deadline of completion, that is the end of October 2017.

He also said that the work is not only going on the Sohan interchange but on much more complex ‘Khana interchange’ as well. These two will be completed side by side and we expect both to be completed by the end of this year.

“We will employ all resources available to us to come up to the wishes of the Chairman to complete this project before the scheduled deadline. But we also have to keep in mind that in the coming months there will the holy month of Ramzan, then two Eids falling. These events will cause slow down or disruptions in work as well,” the Project Director said.

“In addition to these events, we will have monsoon season and as the Met Office has already predicted slightly above normal monsoon rains, those can also slow down the pace of work on these projects,” the Project Director Mumtaz Hussain said.