ISLAMABAD: The federal government has directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to widen the Islamabad Expressway under a public-private partnership mode.
Initially costing Rs10 billion, the expansion of the Islamabad Expressway project has been added in Public Sector Development Programme Plus (PSDP-PLUS) by the Planning Commission, with an estimated cost of Rs45 billion.
To further deliberate on the matter, a meeting chaired by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission was held with the authority.
Briefing the attendees, Member Planning CDA Dr Shahid Mahmood informed that the higher cost makes it impossible for the authority to take up this project on public-private partnership mode.
Nonetheless, the authority was directed to prepare the feasibility and design of the expansion project for the public-private partnership mode.
Prior to this, the signal-free corridor project was divided into two portions, from Zero Point to Koral and Koral to Rawat.
With the establishment of four interchanges at I-8, Sohan, Khanna and Koral, the first phase of the project were completed.
The second phase of the project included the expansion of 5km stretch from Koral to Naval Anchorage, increase in the number of lanes from four to eight by adding two rigid lanes and rehabilitating the flexible lanes, and three bridges – at Korang, Bhinder and the Railway stop.
Due to lack of funds, the second phase leading towards Rawat has been delayed.
Previously, Rs7 billion had been allocated by the government in the Public Sector Development Programme 2018-19 for the project, which was later excluded, forcing the work to a halt.
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