Islamabad’s model prison may be delayed further

  • CDA demands clearance of Rs 490 million pending dues

ISLAMABAD: The much-awaited project of the Islamabad Model Prison may be delayed further as the Capital Development Authority (CDA) asked the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to clear pending dues of Rs 490 million.

In February this year, Minister for Interior Affairs Ahsan Iqbal inaugurated work on the long-awaited model prison in the capital and asked the authorities to complete the project in 2019. On April 3, Chief Commissioner Aftab Akbar Durrani wrote a letter to CDA Chairman Usman Akhtar Bajwa, requested him to expedite the approval of drawing of the model prison in Sector H-16.

After the chief commissioner’s formal request, CDA asked the ICT to clear pending dues of the land amounting Rs 490.050 million which is required to be paid by the ICT. CDA Building Control Director Faisal Naeem confirmed that CDA asked the ICT to clear pending due so that the project could be approved.

“The pending amount has to be cleared by the ICT after that CDA Estate Wing will approve the drawing of the prison,” he added. When contacted, ICT Deputy Director Asghar Niazi, who looks the affairs of the project, said that the payment issue will be resolved this week. On April 17, the chief commissioner called a meeting over the issue with CDA and hopefully payment issues will be resolved amicably, he said.

When asked reasons of the delay, the official said that the budget had allocated in the last time. However, the amount was not released by the Finance Division. In the next budget, the approved amount will be released. The project was conceived in 2011 on the direction of the then Chief Justice of Pakistan.

The ICT had paid Rs 720 million to CDA after the acquisition of the land in H-16 while a formal allotment letter was also issued by CDA in 2013. In 2015, PWD submitted the design of the prison to the Design Vetting Committee of CDA. The estimated cost of the project was Rs3928.523 million as PC-I of the project was approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council in 2016.

Spread over 90 acres in the Sector H-16, the Islamabad Model Prison, which is expected to cost the taxpayers Rs3.9 billion, will accommodate around 2,000 prisoners. Currently, the Adiala Jail is housing Islamabad’s share of prisoners as the capital has no jail. Islamabad administration also wants its own jail as it was increasingly becoming risky for the police to transport suspects from cells in the capital to and from Rawalpindi after court hearings.

At present, about 2000 prisoners from the Islamabad district are being detained in the Adiala Jail and some other places of the country, as the capital has no prison.


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