ISLAMABAD-The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has initiated a process to hire the contractor for the construction of Korang Bridge on Islamabad Expressway to ease the flow of traffic.

Though, there are inadequate funds available for this project at present, however, the federal government recently committed to finance Korang Bridge and PWD underpass from Public Sector Development Program 2020-21 (PSDP).   

The incumbent government had allocated a token amount of Rs450 million in PSDP 2019-20 for the extension of signal free corridor from Koral to GT road, however, Rs300 million were re-appropriated in December last year because the federal government had included it into proposed PSDP plus programme, which would be initiated on public private partnership mode.   

However, CDA had already requested the government to allow the construction of Korang Bridge and PWD underpass from its own resources due to ongoing problems faced by the commuters.

But, in a recent meeting of the Planning Commission it was decided that work will be carried out in two phases. In first phase, Planning Commission has allowed CDA to construct the PWD underpass and widen Korangbridge on Islamabad Expressway to ease traffic on the busy artery.

Resultantly, a separate PC-I amounting Rs1.7 billion was placed before the DWP of the Ministry of Interior, which was approved for PSDP funding.

Now, the bids for construction of Korang Bridge have been invited. The NIT cost of the project is Rs741.395millions and bids for PWD underpass would also be sought in this week.  

When contacted, the Member Engineering CDA DrShahid Mehmood confirmed that at present there are only Rs150m available for the project. He however explained that the PC-I has been approved for the project and government would allocate funds in upcoming PSDP.

He said the process is initiated to save the time as at this stage funds are not required and they want to start development work on site as soon as possible.

“The Development Working Party (DWP) in its last meeting held in the previous week approved project construction of Korang Bridge and Construction of PWD underpass. Upon approval by CDA Management, a transparent bidding process has been initiated, and bids for construction of bridge has been sought under single stage two envelope procedure from firms registered with Pakistan Engineering Council having valid registration certificate. Similarly, instructions have been also issued to invite bids for construction of PWD underpass at earliest,” a press note issued by CDA on Sunday reads.

The portion of Expressway from Koral to GT Road is congested and dilapidated which needs immediate expansion. Earlier, the CDA had estimated that the entire project will be completed at a cost of Rs10 billion and the previous PML-N government in its last budget had earmarked Rs7 billion for the project but later the PTI government dropped it.Therefore, CDA in a bid to give immediate relief to motorists decided to construct Korangbridge and PWD underpass through its own funding (to be returned by the federal government later).

However, the Planning Commission did not allow the CDA to carry out the work from its own funds.