Stalled CDA projects remain a pipe dream

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Such is the financial position of the cash-strapped Capital Development Authority (CDA) that it has stalled a number of important projects or slowed down work on them
“The projects which have been hit hard by lack of funds are the Convention and Culture Complex at Shakarparian, renovation of Fatima Jinnah Park, extension of Marghazar Zoo, development of sectors I-15 and E-12, the Mass Transit System and a new fruit and vegetable market in Sangani,” an official told Pakistan Today.
Convention and Cultural Complex: The project to construct the Convention and Cultural Complex at Shakarparian Hills was launched in December 2007 and was scheduled for completion in June 2010. The cost of the project was estimated to be Rs 1.3 billion. The complex is being built on an area of 25 acres and will offer cultural, entertainment and recreational activities. The complex will have cultural institutes and training facilities for art lovers and students. It will have an auditorium, a modern convention centre with the seating capacity of 3500 people and a cinema house equipped with the state-of the-art.
After spending over Rs 360 million on the Convention Centre, the CDA has stopped work on the project because some of the facilities mentioned in the project already exist in other recreational centers such s the Chinese Cultural Centre, Lok Virsa Museum and the Potohar Arts and Crafts Village. “Although the CDA plans to make some changes to the project, it is unlikely to resume the construction in the near future due to a lack of funds,” the official said.
Marghazar Zoo: The extension of Marghazar Zoo that began in 2008 was scheduled for completion in 2011. According to the new master plan for Marghazar Zoo adopted in 2007, the area of the zoo has been increased from 25 acres to 80 acres. Under the new plan, around 200 species of animals will be housed in the zoo while currently there are 48 species. The zoo will have mountains, a desert, plains, wetlands, a snake house, an aviary and some exotic spots. The animals will be provided with their natural habitat. Around 75 percent of zoo animals will be of local origin and 25 percent from all over the world. The zoo was supposed to be developed according to international standards.
The official said due to a long delay in the execution of the project, a large number of animals and birds have died due to poor facilities. “The only lion and leopard died a few years ago and the zoo is still looking for their replacements”, he said.
The official said that CDA started the development of F-9 Fatima Jinahh Park in 2008 but it has yet to complete it.Under the plan, the CDA will develop 40 acres of the total park. “In 2004-05, the CDA allocated Rs 3.8 billion for the park, but the authority failed to start work on the project. After one-year delay, the civic body revised the cost to Rs 5 billion to match the increasing prices of building materials,” the official said.
Sector I-15: In Sector I-15, the CDA fixed 54 percent of the quota for the general public, 20 percent for displaced people, 10 percent for non-commissioned officers (NCOs) of the army, 10 percent for the employees of the federal government from basic pay scale 1 to 15, 5 percent for CDA employees and one percent for the working journalists from the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. CDA has yet to take the possession of land in sectors I-14 and I-16.
The sector I-15 project was launched in 2006 with the aim to meet the residential needs of low-income groups in the capital city but it turned out to be a pipe dream. When completed, it will have 13,500 housing units consisting of 5500 five-to-seven marla bungalows and 8,000 flats.
E-12 is a project the CDA has been dragging its feet on over the last 20 years ago.
Similarly, CDA has yet to implement its plans to build a fruit and vegetable market.