Sunday May 28, 2023

LDA to upgrade nine major roads

By Ali Raza
February 01, 2023

LAHORE:LDA held its first meeting of the committee established on the directions of the Lahore High Court to improve the living environment of the provincial capital on Tuesday chaired by DG LDA Aamir Ahmad Khan.

Chief Town Planner Shakeel Anjum Minhas, Chief Metropolitan Planner Nadeem Akhtar Zaidi, Director Tepa, concerned Town Directors, ADC Lahore, PHA, Traffic Police, MCL, Lesco representatives, Syed Moazzam Ali Shah Advocate Supreme Court, Khadija Amjad Wazir, Advocate, Qasim Abbas Bhatti Deputy Director Law and other officers participated in the meeting.

It was revealed in the meeting that the upgrading nine major roads as model roads will be carried out in phases and in the first phase Main Boulevard Allama Iqbal Town and G1 Road Johar Town will be made model roads.

LDA DG said that the purpose of model roads was to address environmental pollution, traffic control and parking problems. The meeting also discussed the issues related to environment safety, parking, traffic congestion, purpose build land use and building regulations.

On this occasion, Director General LDA Aamir Ahmad Khan said that schools, institutions, hospitals, restaurants and commercial buildings established on these roads will be forced to ensure to eliminate encroachment from their parking areas and building regulations will also be ensured.

He said action will be taken against traffic congestion, wrong parking and encroachment on these roads. The main purpose of these Model Roads was to control environmental pollution, solve traffic and parking problems.

LDA DG said that those buildings which ignored the SOPs, despite repeated warnings, will be sealed. All stakeholders were directed to work together on the project of model roads and it was decided to form a sub-committee consisting of representatives of allied departments. The sub-committee will review the progress from time to time and prepare its report.

Civic agencies have left the citizens at the mercy of environmental hazards and other problems like illegal commercialization, misuse of approved land use, wrong parking, traffic congestion and building regulations.

Recently, the Lahore High Court (LHC) has taken up the issue of smog in the provincial metropolis and directed the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) to take measures to control smog and in response, the LDA has assured the court that it will make nine major city roads into model roads.

So far, the LDA has done nothing practically to implement the court’s order and drawing room discussions were going on. The LDA’s previous plans of making two major city roads (Ferozepur Road and Main Boulevard Gulberg/Jail Road) signal-free corridors have also failed to give long time results and presently both roads were facing severe traffic congestion.

Similarly, LDA recently converted the main boulevard Johar Town (from Shaukat Khanum Crossing till Khokhar Chowk) as a signal free corridor but the project failed to give the desired results as long queues of cars can be witnessed at peak hours.

Another major issue the citizens were facing was the availability of proper parking places because LDA’s Town Planning Wing has failed in implementing its building rules, especially those related to parking spaces. On many roads, one can find encroachments, fixed stalls, and other constructions in setback areas of commercial buildings, which were dedicated for parking.

The mushroom growth of illegal commercial activities across the city was also one of the reasons for creating an acute shortage of parking spaces while LDA has also failed to construct enough parking plazas in the city and the areas where parking plazas existed (Moon Market Allama Iqbal Town) the road users were given a free hand to park their vehicles on the roads/side roads.