In a significant development, a total of 21 construction firms have expressed their keen interest in securing a contract for the construction of the new road that will connect Margalla Avenue with the Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway Link Road Project (M1). The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is currently evaluating the profiles of these construction companies, marking a crucial step in advancing the much-awaited project.
An official from the CDA confirmed, “In the stipulated time, we received 21 applications from construction firms, and currently, the profile of these companies is being scrutinized by our consultant.” Following this initial scrutiny, the shortlisted firms will receive tender documents to submit their bids, marking the next phase in the selection process.
Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway Link Road Project Approval and Costs
The Development Working Party (DWP) of the CDA approved the Margalla Avenue project back in August. The estimated cost of the project stands at a substantial Rs5.45 billion, encompassing development and land acquisition expenses. According to the Project Concept-I (PC-I), once initiated, the project is expected to reach completion within a span of eight months. However, sources within the CDA’s land and estate wing revealed that the land acquisition process has yet to commence.
The CDA’s working paper, presented during the DWP meeting, emphasized that the full potential of Margalla Avenue could only be realized once it is seamlessly connected to the M1 motorway. The project encompasses a six-lane road designed to serve as an alternative route for commuters traveling between Islamabad and G.T. Road (N-5) and vice versa.
Out of the total 3.4 kilometers of the route, 1.8 kilometers are located in Rawalpindi, with the remaining 1.6 kilometers situated in Islamabad. The CDA is responsible for constructing the road within the Islamabad jurisdiction.
Division of Responsibilities
Earlier in June, the federal government granted approval to the National Highway Authority (NHA) for constructing the portion of the road within Rawalpindi. The NHA is set to receive funding for this segment from the government. Budgetary documents for the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2023–24 indicate that the government has allocated Rs1.5 billion for the project, whose overall cost is estimated at Rs3 billion.
In 2021, the former Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the CDA to develop the portion of the road within Islamabad’s limits, while the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) was assigned the task of working on the segment within its jurisdiction. However, the PDM government later assigned the NHA the responsibility of constructing roads in Rawalpindi.
Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway Link Road Project Expansion and Progress
Margalla Avenue, stretching from G.T. Road to D-12, will soon be linked to the new 5-kilometer road section from D-12 to E-11. The construction of this section is currently underway and is projected to be completed within the next two months, according to CDA officials.
“We have commenced asphalt work, and we are optimistic that this project will be finished within a month,” stated a CDA official confidently.
Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway Link Road Project Delays and Financial Challenges
On a related note, the CDA had previously planned to begin construction of 11th Avenue to connect it with the Margalla Road section from D-12 to E-11. However, the project has yet to be initiated. Despite former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s inauguration of the 11th Avenue project earlier this year, there has been little progress since the PDM government took over.
The CDA’s track record with major avenues has been somewhat sluggish. The construction of 10th Avenue, which commenced last year with federal government funding, has faced delays due to financial constraints, with only 25% of the work completed thus far. The financial struggles of the CDA have hindered the initiation of new development projects.
The progress of the Margalla Avenue project holds immense significance for commuters and the overall development of the region, making it a project to watch as it moves forward through the selection and construction phases.