The project, supposed to be completed in 30 months, was announced in January 2005 with an estimated cost of Rs37 billion and construction began in April 2007, when funding became available.
However, the official sources of the CAA were reluctant to give exact figures regarding the cost of the project and the reasons behind the delay.
The airport that was due to be operational by December 2013, but now the authorities concerned claim that the construction work of the airport would be completed by the end of 2016.
It is pertinent to mention here that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had set the end of March next year as the new deadline for the completion of the airport during his visit to the site in March this year.
During the visit the prime minister had expressed dismay over the delay in the completion of project and also ordered a high-level inquiry to fix the responsibility for delay in meeting the original deadline.
In October last, during their visit to the site of the new airport, the standing committees of Senate and National Assembly on Cabinet Secretariat also expressed displeasure over delay in completion of New Islamabad Airport and noted with concern that the project might take several years to become operational.
A joint meeting of the two panels was held here at the site of New Islamabad Airport to review the work being carried out there.
The officials of the Civil Aviation Authority briefed the participants about the progress on the project.
The members of the two panels noted with great concern that the original cost of the project was Rs37 billion, but it got inflated to Rs85 billion due to delay and certain alleged irregularities.
Secretary Aviation and Chairman Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)Mohammad Ali Gardezi gave an overview of the project, its history, peripheral facilities and a comparison of its facilities with the existing Benazir Bhutto International Airport Islamabad.
He said the new airport would be completed by the end of 2016 and said the work on access road to the airport had not yet begun, while provision of water was another major issue as the area was suffering from water scarcity.
Furthermore, it has also been reported that Opposition Leader in the National Assembly, Syed Khurseed Ahmed Shah, who is also Chairman of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in a letter to the prime minister has pointed out the delay in completion of the project.
He mentioned the delay had not only enhanced the actual cost but also raised numerous concerns of the public.
He said the PAC in its meetings held during May this year also took serious notice over the slow pace of work.
The PAC members visited the site to view the ongoing work and it was a matter of concern that around 80 per cent work on the new airport project had been completed but due to non-provision of facilities such as roads, water and electricity, the airport could not become functional.–Agencies
The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily