Cracks have appeared on a newly-built section of Margalla Avenue in Islamabad, which has yet to be officially inaugurated. The 10.4-kilometer-long road, constructed by Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), stretches from G.T. Road to D-12, and while open to traffic, work on a 700-meter portion remains incomplete. During a recent visit to the site, it was observed that cracks had developed on both sides of the road near Shah Allah Ditta underpass, raising concerns about the road’s compaction.
However, according to CDA’s Member Engineering Syed Munawar Shah, the development of cracks on newly-built roads was not unusual. He stated that the road was still incomplete as its 700-meter portion was not yet ready for handover. “So far, handing/taking over of the road has not been done. But we opened it to facilitate the public. The cracks in questions will be redone within a few days. Actually, in this portion of the road, we had to make 10 to 12 feet filling,” he said, adding that except for a small portion of a few feet, the entire road was state-of-the-art.
Shah further clarified that a few days ago, he and the CDA chairman had visited the site and directed the contractor to resolve the issue. He assured the public that the cracks would be repaired in the next few days. “From G.T. Road to D-12, you will see no issue. It is one of the best roads,” he added.
Meanwhile, another portion of around five kilometers is being constructed from D-12 to E-11, with an interchange being built at E-11. The CDA is executing the project through National Logistics Cell (NLC), and it is expected to be completed within six months, costing approximately Rs3.9 billion. The project also includes five culverts and an interchange at E-11.
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The CDA has five sectors – C-13, C-14, C-15, and C-16 – along the length of the Margalla Avenue. After the road’s opening, the value of CDA’s sectors has increased manifold. Recently, the CDA carried out major anti-encroachment operations and removed over 1,000 illegal houses/structures that had been built by locals to get developed plots from the CDA under the so-called Built up Property (BuP) cases.
However, during a visit to the road last week, the CDA chairman spotted some structures, particularly in C-13, and reprimanded the officials for their failure in removing them. He suspended the concerned gardawar and patwari for allegedly supporting people in raising such structures. In the following three days, an operation was conducted, and the structures were removed.
Meanwhile, the CDA also decided to sell 800 plots in C-14 and C-16 exclusively to overseas Pakistanis through balloting, which is expected to be held next month.
Officials of the engineering wing said that the cracks appeared due to a compaction issue and that the road would be redone. “Redoing the road is the responsibility of the contractor. The project is still incomplete, and even after completion and proper handing/taking over of the road, the contractor is responsible during the defect liability period,” they said.