ISLAMABAD   -   The budgetary allocations for mega development projects in capital city have indicated that the incumbent government is least interested to address the problems of the federal capital.

The federal government has allocated only token amounts for all important multibillion projects including extension of Islamabad Expressway from Koral to GT Road, provision of clean drinking water and a project to end the bottleneck on Murree Road at Bara Kahu, which are being considered insufficient by circles concerned. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf remained successful in all three constituencies of National Assembly in general elections 2018 from the federal capital. It was envisioned that the government would initiate development projects to mitigate growing needs here.

On account of the extension of Islamabad Expressway, the government has allocated only Rs 425 million in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20 against the total cost of Rs10 billion. The widening of the expressway was inaugurated by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 2015. The previous government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had allocated Rs 7 billion in PSDP 2018-19 for the project. However, it was the incumbent government which excluded the project while revising the PSDP.

In the first phase of the project, the road was widened from Zero Point to Faizabad, and then up to Koral. Three interchanges were also constructed at Sohan, Koral and Khana to make the highway signal free. Commuting between Koral and the GT Road via Expressway has become difficult, as traffic is stalled for hours due to overwhelming number of vehicles on that portion.

This is an inter-provincial road that also sees truck and bus traffic. In addition, many housing societies have been established in the last two decades on either side of the expressway.

According to an estimation of the NHA, around 4,000 vehicles pass through Murree Road at Bara Kahu on daily basis while approximately, a million vehicles cross the said bottleneck on special eves like Eids and Independence Day. Though, the government has approved the construction of a four-lane flyover in Bara Kahu but allocated only Rs500m against this Rs3bn project, which are insufficient to launch this project.

Besides, these nominal allocations for such huge projects, the capital also gets Rs100m for the commercial feasibility of water supply scheme and Rs425m for the Korang River & Rawal Lake water treatment project.