The development comes after security agencies raised concerns at the planned highway passing behind the headquarters of the Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy and a sector allotted to the Pakistan Army for its new general headquarters. A 14.5-km portion of the 32-km highway is in question.
The authority had put the work on the portion on hold after concerns were raised in early 2014.
The project primarily aims to connect the Motorway to Murree Expressway to facilitate commuters heading to Murree without burdening the main arteries of the city. The highway is designed to work as a ring road.
Work on two sections — the 8.5-km patch stretching between the GT Road near Sangjani to Sector D-12 and the 9-km patch stretching from Constitution Avenue to Kot Hathiyal near the Murree Expressway — is already under progress.
A major-general of army submitted the drawing during a meeting with CDA Chairman Maroof Afzal.
CDA Member Engineering Shahid Sohail said the army’s plan would be compared to the city’s master plan. “There would be no harm to go with the new plan if the variation is slight,” he said. He refused to tell how much the army’s plan varied from the master plan.
If constructed, the Margalla Highway will pass through the north-east edge of the city behind C, E, and F series sectors at foothills of the Margallas.
The project is listed by the CDA among the authority’s ‘priority projects’ and a sum of Rs500 million has also been allocated for the project in financial year 2015-16.
The naval headquarters are located in Sector E-8, air headquarters in Sector E-9 while Sector E-10 has been set aside for the army’s general headquarters. Several other sensitive installations are also located in these sectors.
“Facilities including the navy-run Margalla Greens Golf Club and some illegal structures by the National Defence University behind Sector E-9 will be impacted if CDA carves out the highway as per provisions of the master plan,” a reliable source in CDA’s planning wing said.
The project, if executed as per the master plan, would also affect hostels and guesthouses of the International Islamic University near Faisal Mosque, the official added.