islamabad - With an increase in traffic in the capital, the federal government has decided to allocate Rs 7 billion for the construction of Signal-Free Islamabad Expressway Corridor (phase-III), according to the PSDP-2018-19.

The approval of the third and last phase of the project is still under process. The whole project, executed by Capital Development Authority, will be completed with an estimated cost of 10.75bn.

The Expressway is the main road connecting Islamabad with other parts of the country which also serves as a link between the city and a number of housing schemes in the suburbs of the capital.

According to the plan, expansion from Koral to the G.T. Road – the third phase of the project to expand Islamabad Expressway – will be divided into two phases.

The first will consist of expanding the road from the Koral Interchange to Naval Anchorage, a stretch of five kilometres, while the second phase will cover the 7km distance from Naval Anchorage to G.T. Road. The project to widen the expressway was inaugurated by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in July 2015.

Under the original PC-I, the signal-free expressway was to be widened to five lanes from Zero Point to the G.T. Road in Rawat within two years. The CDA in 2015 changed the PC-I and decided to execute the project in three phases due to financial constraints.

The first phase consisted of widening 4km of the expressway from Zero Point to Faizabad. It was completed after several post-bid changes.

The portion of the second phase that consisted of widening the road from Faizabad to the Koral interchange has been completed, but the construction of Khanna Bridge will reportedly be completed by June this year.

In the final portion, the existing four lanes will be widened to eight, the Soan Bridge will also be widened and a flyover will be constructed at the G.T. Road.

According to the PSDP, another Rs. 199m have been allocated for construction/up-gradation of a mosque at Pak Secretariat Islamabad; Rs 200m for construction of additional family suits for the members of parliament, Rs 23m for security arrangements at the Parliament House.

Three new schemes for Islamabad, which are yet unapproved, have been included in the PSDP 2018-19. 

The PSDP suggests that Rs 500m has been allocated for conduction of water from Indus Water River System of Tarbela Dam for Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

The proposed allocation suggests that the controversy surrounding the project is over and the work on the much-needed project is likely to start during the upcoming fiscal year.

The government of Sindh had declined to sacrifice its respective share of water in Indus River for the residents of the twin cities.

However, now the province has given a go ahead in this regard and the work on the project is likely to start soon. Islamabad and Rawalpindi require 200 million gallons of water per day.

Another Rs 295m has been allocated for providing/replacement of HVAC system installed at Aiwan-e-Sadr Islamabad and Rs 158m for providing/replacement of lifts at Aiwan-e-Sadr Islamabad. A total of Rs 15.23bn have been allocated for CADD in the PSDP-2018-19, according to the documents.