In order to prevent protestors from entering the Red Zone, city managers are working on installing ‘see-through’ entry gates at three main points—near Serena Hotel, Nadra Chowk, and D-Chowk. However, reports have emerged that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has already initiated the construction work in anticipation of the upcoming PTI march without floating any tenders for the process. This move is understandably raising eyebrows because this is a blatant circumvention of the rules that have been laid out for such processes.

Some officials within the CDA are also questioning the move and have pointed out that it is odd for a firm to begin the construction work on the project without getting “assurances” and “favours” from the CDA. Responding to queries about this, CDA Director Road Tahir Mahmood has claimed however that the work was started at NADRA Chowk through “internal” arrangements, and that the proper work will be initiated after the tendering process. it is unclear what the internal arrangement exactly is, and such cryptic answers only add to the speculation.

This seems to be part of a trend, however, because, in a related event, the CDA’s engineering wing started initial work on the construction of a road in the extended area of the Diplomatic Enclave without the tendering process. The explanation was the same in this instance as well, with Mr Mahmood clarifying that the work of removing bushes and clearing alignment has been started through internal arrangements.

While there are more pressing issues than blocking the paths of protesters, the CDA should, by all means, take precautions to ensure that no violence erupts during such gatherings, especially in sensitive areas. However, it would be wise on their part if they stick to the laid-out procedures for pursuing such projects, otherwise, the authority will be opening itself up to scrutiny for flouting such basic rules.