Wednesday March 22, 2023

Samanabad underpass slow work brings traffic to a standstill

By Ali Raza
February 03, 2023

LAHORE:Slow pace of work at the mega project of Samanabad More underpass has turned the city’s traffic to a standstill besides causing serious inconvenience for the local residents.

Citizens and local residents said the closure of two main arteries of the city i.e. Ferozpur Road (closed at Kalma Chowk by CBD for remodeling) and Multan Road (closed at More Samanabad) have badly affect the daily travelers.

They said they seemed trapped in the clouds of air pollution while passing through these roads and diversions on these roads was causing them extra fuel cost as well. Environmentalists also believed that due to both the projects being undertaken simultaneously, the air pollution will increase in the provincial metropolis. They said the closure of these two main junctions will result in traffic congestion due to which hazardous gases will be released in the air by the vehicles.

They asked the government to direct the authorities concerned for proper and repeated water sprinkling at the project sites to control air pollution. The concept of constructing an underpass at More Samanabad, one of the busiest junctions in the city situated on the Multan Road was delayed for the past many years due to various reasons. Recently, the former Chief Minister Punjab Pervaiz Elahi inaugurated the project and awarded its contract to LDA. Sources said the former Senior Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal, who was also the political head of LDA, was also favoured the project as it was in his constituency.

It is pertinent to mention here that the project contract was the same who delayed the Firdous Market Underpass project, started during the tenure of former Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and the then Chief Engineer LDA was changed due to delay in the project’s completion. Sources in LDA said awarding the More Samanabad mega project to the contractor who has a history of delaying projects including the famous Peshawar BRT was very strange and any delay in More Samanabad project will have serious impact on the city’s environment as well as traffic system. On the other hand, the caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi has also directed LDA authorities to speed up the construction work at More Samanabad project and work should be done day and night.

The CM also directed that sewage, water supply, relocation of Lesco poles should also be done simultaneously and coordination should be developed with all government departments in this regard.

LDA spokesperson said that the one side of Multan Road will be closed for the construction of Samanabad More underpass and LDA apologised in advance for inconvenience to citizens. “Traffic coming from Chauburji will be diverted on one side of the road while traffic coming from Gulshan Ravi and Scheme More will use the Bund Road”, he said adding the road users can also use LOS and Poonch Road from Chaubarji and Allama Iqbal Town to bypass More Samanabad. He said citizens were requested to use alternative traffic plan.

According to the instructions of caretaker Chief Minister Punjab, the project will be completed according to the new deadline, he said while quoting the DG LDA and said the DG has directed departments concerned to implement traffic diversion plan and cooperation with the citizens.