Mega highways, interchange projects once again get lion’s share
28 billion rupees earmarked for new projects; 5.2 billion for salaries and pensions
A 35 billion rupees budget for 2016-17 approved in a meeting of CDA board chaired by CDA Chairman Maroof Afzal and attended by members and officials will be sent for a final approval to the Capital Administrative and Development Division (CADD).
Once again, a major portion of the budget, Rs 28 billion, will be spent on ‘top priority’ projects that include expansion of Islamabad Expressway from Zero Point to Rawat, Koral Chowk Interchange, two more interchanges between Faiz-a-bad and Koral Chowk. Other projects include rehabilitation of Shahdara waterfall, construction of Margalla Chair Lift, construction of bypass near Bhara Kahu and upgradation of F-9 Park along with the Ferris wheel and Safari Park spanning 50 acres.
The inertness showed by CDA towards establishing new sectors in recent years will hopefully end as funds have been allocated for the development of sector C-15, C-16 and I-12.
Rs 5.2 billion and Rs 1.6 billion respectively have been earmarked for salaries and pensions of CDA employees and employees who have been transferred to Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC). An increment of 10 per cent in the salaries and Rs 150 million has also been set aside for an increase in salaries, allowances and pensions.
A total of 15 per cent increase has been made in the non-development fund. Since many directorates of CDA have been completely transferred to IMC, while other functions have been partially distributed between the civic agency and IMC, the increase came as a surprise to many.
The budget for FY 2016-17 is the first ever post-bifurcation budget of CDA. IMC has recently come to life and it remains to be seen how both institutions will tread the delicate tightrope of division of directorates and powers.