The Chandni Chowk Flyover — a Rs1.216 billion mega project — will be inaugurated on March 10 by Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, said Punjab Highways and Roads Executive Engineer (XEN) Rana Muhammad Basharat while talking ‘The News’ here on Wednesday.
The length of the flyover is 403 metres. On an average, 128,900 vehicles pass through this junction daily and the flyover will help solve the traffic mess on Benazir Bhutto Road, particularly at Chandni Chowk, which had been a great concern for motorists, transporters and commuters.
“The chief minister will unveil the plaque to open the flyover for general traffic at 3 p.m. More than 80% work on the Chandni Chowk Flyover has been completed, while service roads, including U-turns, under the flyover and green area will take another 30 days to become fully functional,” he said.
He said that motorists and transporters coming and going towards Commercial Market, Rawal Road, Iran Road and Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) would face some difficulties for one more month, he stated.
“There will be green areas in centres of U-turns in which we will plant saplings. The motorists coming from Islamabad would not stop at any point. If they want to go to Commercial Market, Iran Road, Rawal Road and BBH they would have to use U-turns, which are linked with service roads, he said.
“We will complete service roads soon. For the time being, one lane on both sides of service roads will be opened for traffic to facilitate people wanting to go to Commercial Market, Iran Road, Rawal Road and BBH. The remaining sides of service roads will be opened after completion of work,” he said.
The flyover would be based on six lanes — three lanes on each side, he said. He said that the Punjab government gave a timeframe of 130 days to the Punjab Highways and Roads Department for completion of work, but it completed the task in 127 days.
District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar, Punjab Highways and Roads Superintendent Engineer (SE) Farhat Munir, Brigadier Shahid Manzoor of the National Logistic Cell, MNA Malik Ibrar, MPA Malik Iftikhar, MPA Ghulam Raza Malik and several others visited the flyover site on Wednesday to inspect work.
Punjab Minister for Planning and Development Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor appreciated the pace of work on the flyover, saying that it would be operational from March 10. The Punjab government, he said, was providing hefty amounts for the development of the Rawalpindi city and several mega development projects, including Chandni Chowk Flyover, were being completed, he said. The ongoing mega development projects in Rawalpindi would be completed as per schedule to provide relief to the residents.
He said that the Punjab chief minister wanted to see Rawalpindi a model city where there would be no traffic mess on roads. He appreciated the completion of construction work on 1.92-kilometre Golra Morr-Haji Camp Road. He directed all civic bodies, including Wasa, TMA and others, to cover all ditches and manholes around the flyover till March 10.
Superintendent Engineer (SE) Provincial Roads and Highways Farhat Munir said that work on the Chur Chowk underpass would begin soon. The mega project would cost Rs500 million and it would be a signal-free road, he said.
Saeed Ahmed adds: Under the second phase of Chandni Chowk Flyover project, work on another flyover between Rehmanabad and Sixth Road would kick off in a couple of months, which would also be completed in record time, sources told this scribe. The Punjab chief minister has already allocated the required funds for completion of second phase of this project.
Before materialising work on this project, the Punjab government had decided to construct super express flyover project from Faizabad to Mall Road to end traffic jams on permanent basis on Benazir Bhutto Road. However, the idea was shelved due to several hurdles coming in the way of this multi-billion project, costing over Rs90 billion. After failing to transform the idea into reality, the Punjab government decided to re-launch work on the Nullah Leh Expressway and Flood Control Project. Again due to impediments, this plan was shelved and on proposals of the local parliamentarians, including MNAs Hanif Abbasi and Malik Shakil Awan, in September 2011, the Punjab chief minister allocated funds worth Rs2 billion for construction of two flyovers. Under the first phase, work on the Chandni Chowk-Rehmanabad Flyover was launched on December 13, 2011. The Punjab chief minister had visited Rawalpindi several times to witness the scope and pace of work on the project.