ISLAMABAD: In a crucial move, the federal government has greenlit Rs1.4 billion in funds to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to revive the stalled 10th Avenue project.
Due to financial constraints, this critical development project has been stuck in a quagmire.
Begun in March of the previous year, the 10th Avenue project’s completion deadline was March 2024. However, construction was unexpectedly halted earlier this year when just 15 percent of the work was completed within the span of 14 months.
The federal government directly financed this project, with the CDA acting as the executing agency.
Recently, the interior ministry, which functions as the superior ministry for the CDA, announced to the civic body that the ministry would grant Rs1,400 million to support the project before the end of this fiscal year.
A CDA official confirmed receipt of the official communique, stating, “We have been informed that Rs1,400 million will be earmarked for the 10th Avenue project. We eagerly await the release of this fund to reboot the project.” He also mentioned that the funds would be dispatched before the conclusion of the current fiscal year.
Moreover, an additional Rs400 million has been reserved for the upcoming fiscal year’s budget under the project’s Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).
Worth a total of Rs10.2 billion, the mega project is financed by the federal government. The government disbursed about Rs1.5 billion in the previous fiscal year, but a relatively meager Rs350 million was assigned in the ongoing fiscal year, significantly stalling progress.
Earlier in February, the National Logistics Cell, the entity responsible for constructing 10th Avenue, threatened to withdraw from the project if the CDA did not release the necessary funds.
The 10th Avenue project is divided into two phases. The current phase involves constructing a 5km road stretching from Katarian Bridge on IJP Road to Srinagar Highway at the intersection of G-9 and G-10. The subsequent phase will extend from Srinagar Highway to Margalla Road.
However, the project has sparked controversy due to the potential displacement of Rimsha Colony’s residents, a local community residing in Sector H-9. With around 1,400 houses, the CDA faces the challenging task of relocating these residents to allow construction in the area.
The authority has been criticized for not pausing construction to resolve this issue amicably.
An official highlighted the necessity of addressing this problem soon. “A challenging situation will arise when the CDA attempts to relocate the residents of Rimsha Colony during construction. Now is the ideal time to reach a resolution,” he argued.
In a public hearing for the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) conducted last year, it was agreed that a committee, including officers from the CDA and Rimsha Colony’s representatives, would be formed to negotiate a solution to this relocation concern.