Islamabad: Slow pace of work on different projects and delays that rub off badly on the CDA are drawing criticism here and there and raising questions over its ability to handle an expanding town.
The work on one project – the Faisal Avenue Flyover – is still not fully completed. Though traffic is flowing through, the progress on this project remains painfully slow with no elaborate landscaping having been done and no road signs put up. The walls of the underpasses that resemble that of a fort have also not been treated yet.
Driving down the flyover towards Sector F-10, a wide patch of road at the G-8 turn remains untreated for months. Clearly, it is an accident waiting to happen but the city fathers have too much on their platter already, so it seems.
Elsewhere, the Arts and Crafts Village along the Garden Avenue still awaits formal opening although it was to be inaugurated sometimes last year, so we were told. This too goes to show that there’s no sense of urgency whatsoever.
Similarly, the CDA had boasted that it was going to liven up the walls of the China Chowk underpasses but several months later the towering walls remain the eyesore they always were.
For some reason however, the CDA’s focus has always been on the 7th Avenue. Much of its effort goes towards ensuring its cleanliness and doing landscaping and artwork on its several bridges.
No doubt, the road inaugurated in August 2007 has emerged as one of the town’s showpiece avenues, CDA needs to divert its attention to the poor man’s Islamabad – the low scale residential sectors like the G and I series.
Although officials insist CDA is capable enough to cope with the challenges of an ever-growing town, there is no evidence of that in several of these sectors which present a shabby look and mutely seem to question the claim of Islamabad being beautiful.
For several years, people living in these areas have been meted out step-motherly treatment with the town planners paying all their attention to the posh ‘F’ sectors where the high and the mighty reside.
Problems like sewage, scarcity of water, poor shape of roads, non-functional lampposts and narrow streets have made life increasingly difficult for the residents whose complaints often fall on deaf ears.
The CDA does have problems of finding capable planners, engineers and administrators with the standard of professionalism of the consultants and the contractors it regularly hires not being up to the mark.
Poor workmanship is evident in a host of recently completed projects that show that contractors often tend to compromise on quality and as a result flaws begin to surface soon enough.
Be it the roads, pavements, parks or erecting fences, such defects only highlight the fact that people engaged by CDA for some reason do not put their best forward. In this light Tariq Mahmood Khan has a difficult road ahead. Good luck to him. He would need loads of it, as the spectre of comparison with Kamran Lashari is still haunting him.