ISLAMABAD: On the directive of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is making all-out efforts to start work on the much-delayed Bhara Kahu bypass project and a topographic survey of the road is in progress.

Sources told Dawn that the new CDA chairman retired Capt Mohammad Usman had prioritised the project and after a meeting at Prime Minister Office on Friday he also inspected the project site.

The sources said a topographic survey of the project was in progress which will be completed in a few days after which the engineering design of the bypass will be completed before finalising PC-I.

“Since the prime minister is directly monitoring and the chairman is fully focusing on the project, hopefully, all the prerequisite formalities will be completed in a week or so. We have already engaged Frontier Work Organisation (FWO) and it is expected that the formal construction work would be started during the second week of September,” said an official of the CDA.

We have engaged FWO and hopefully work on project will start in second week of September, says official

The prime minister has fixed a four-month deadline for completion of the project. “Once started, this project could be completed within four months,” the official said.

As per preliminary working of the CDA, the bypass would be five kilometres, including one km elevated road (flyover), with two interchanges at the starting and near the ending point.

It will start from Murree Road near Quaid-i-Azam University stop and after passing through Kayani Road and Bhara Kahu’s Friday bazaar will again touch Murree Road near the Jugi stop.

From there, it will have a one-km flyover which will culminate at the end of Bhara Kahu.

CDA officials said that the cost of the project will be finalised while preparing PC-I, adding tentatively the worth of the project will be over five billion rupees. They said the CDA was also checking if construction of one-km flyover could be avoided and instead of the flyover the existing roads could be expanded. However, the officials said apparently there was no capacity in the existing roads for expansion and the CDA will have to go for a flyover.

“We have made our mind; the five-km project will have four-km road and one km flyover. But, yes, we are also checking the option of expansion of the roads but ultimately we will have to go for the flyover,” an official of the civic agency said.

The prime minster earlier this month had stated that completing the Bhara Kahu bypass within four months was possible, adding his team had in the past completed major projects in Punjab in less than four months.

Former prime minister Imran Khan in April last year had laid the foundation of the bypass to provide an alternative route to those travelling towards Murree, Galyat and Kashmir. However, the project, which was 7.8km from Murree Road to Satra Meel, could not be started during the tenure of his government.

Now the CDA has shelved that project and instead of the 7.8km bypass it is going to construct a four-km road with one-km flyover, which according to the engineering wing, is cost-effective and doable in the shortest time.

The officials said that the earlier designed 7.8km project required more than two years for completion because of lot of cut and fill was involved in it as it.

“Therefore, we have shelved that project and are now working on the road-cum-flyover project,” said an engineer of the CDA. He said that alighment of 7.8km road project had already been finalised which would be used in future.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2022

Categorized in: