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‘Unfinished portions of metro project to be completed by November’

‘Unfinished portions of metro project to be completed by November’

RAWALPINDI: The three as yet incomplete sections of the Metro Bus Project will take another two months to complete, even though the bus service has been running since June, Rawalpindi Commissioner Zahid Saeed told Dawn.

He said that the Metro Bus Service Command and Control building, the bridge over the Leh Nullah on Murree Road and the Peshawar Mor intersection remain unfinished and still contractors have missed two deadlines over the last three months.

Saeed, who is also the metro bus project director, said that work on the Peshawar Mor intersection, worth Rs5 billion, was to be completed along with the rest of the project.

But due to a design dispute between the contractor – National Logistics Cell (NLC) – and the designer Nespak, work was stopped and only restarted in May.

Saeed said that the contractor assured the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) that it would complete the project by October, but then sought more time to complete the project, citing the Eid holidays as the reason for slow progress.

However, he added that the contractor had assured them that work would be completed in time, and that heavy machinery is currently operating around the clock at the Peshawar Mor construction site.

“The delay in the completion of the command and control building was due to a delay in the import of firefighting equipment for the building. The equipment will arrive in Rawalpindi in the coming days,” he said.

A senior RDA official told Dawn that the unfinished work has caused traffic jams and that the burden on one side of the bridge could become a problem if work on the other side was not completed.

He said that the bridge should have been completed by August 14, but the contractor sought more time and had claimed it would be completed by September 30.

However, he was optimistic that now the work would only take another month or two to complete.

Regarding the command and control building, he said that the contractor had not employed enough manpower and that work began on the building after the elevated road project and three other projects, which was the main reason for the slow pace of work.

“The total cost of the seven-storey building was Rs440 million, which included three storeys of parking space. The contractor failed to import the equipment [needed] to make the building functional on time.”

Saeed said NLC had sought time to complete the Peshawar Mor intersection because construction work would need more time.

He said that in heavy construction, such delays do occur.

Saeed said that work on the bridge would likely finish by the end of October, as guarder launching has began.

He said that heavy machinery was not used in guarder launching due to constraints, and executing the process manually takes longer.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2015

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