Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision…Dubai’s Shaikh Zayed Avenue being copied; Islamabad Highway to be widened and commercial multi-storey buildings to be built on both sides; govt to earn billions of dollars
“The News” report by Ansar Abbasi
On the direction of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the CDA is presently working day and night on an estimated US$12 billion “dream project” that includes building a twin capital across the Margalla Hills, connecting the twins with a tunnel and copying Dubai’s Shaikh Zayed Avenue, a major business and tourist attraction, writes Ansar Abbasi.
Official sources revealed that the construction of two ring roads in Rawalpindi-Islamabad and a new airport at Rawat, Rawalpindi, are also part of this mega project which, as soon as finalised, would be announced by the prime minister himself.
The recent story of The News talking about the CDA’s campaign to acquire 25,000 acres of land for the establishment of an “Economic Zone and Multipurpose Zone”, is also part of the same mega project.
The sources said that the incumbent chairman CDA had been asked by the prime minister to work on this project on a war footing to ensure that this huge project materialises at the earliest.
Talking about the salient features of the project, these sources said that there was a proposal to build a new Islamabad across the Margalla Hills and then connect both the new Islamabad and the old Islamabad through a tunnel.
The Islamabad Highway starting from the Blue Area to Rawat would be widened to eight to 10 lanes with commercial multistoreyed buildings on both sides as is the case of Dubai’s Shaikh Zayed Road. The new international airport would be built at Rawat. It would also be connected with the Lahore-Islamabad Motorway.
The sources said that the government expects to earn billions of dollars by offering commercial plots on both sides of the proposed widened Islamabad Highway, which would serve as key economic and multipurpose zone.
Similarly, it is expected that the new Islamabad plots would also earn billions of dollars. The sources said that foreign investors, particularly the overseas Pakistanis, would be wooed to invest in this project. of Rawalpindi and Islamabad two ring roads are also proposed to be constructed.
This huge project would be implemented through a limited company- Pakistan Avenue Development Company- recently approved by the CDA Board.The CDA has started acquiring 25,000 acres, almost equal to 42 villages of Rawalpindi, for the establishment of “Economic Zone and Multipurpose Zone at public expense,” which as reported by The News recently would cost more than Rs70 billion to the civic authority.
For the same purpose the Punjab government also issued a notification on August 15, 2013, stating: “Office of the Collector of District Rawalpindi. Notification u/s 4 of The Land Acquisition Act 1984. Whereas it appears to the collector of District Rawalpindi that land is likely to be taken by the Capital Development Authority (Chairman’s Secretariat), Islamabad, through its company—“Pakistan Avenue Development Limited”— for public purpose, namely, for the Establishment of Economic and Multi-purpose Zone at public expense. It is hereby notified that the land described below is likely to be acquired for the said purpose.”The collector of District Rawalpindi has already authorised survey of the land and other necessary acts required for the proper execution of this work.