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Widening of KKH, reconstruction of Mansehra road must to ply green buses


April 18, 2016

ABBOTTABAD: Responding to an article published in The News regarding traffic jams in Abbottabad and suggested solutions on March 3, Advisor to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister on Communications and Works (C&W) Akbar Ayub Khan has said that his boss had formally agreed to sanction 50 to 60 buses for Abbottabad as a part of “green bus service.”

Speaking to The News, Akbar Ayub confirmed that a summary and PC-1 in this regard was being prepared to be put to chief minister for his final approval. These buses, according to C&W advisor, will be operated in Abbottabad as commuter coaches will replace Suzuki pick-ups, a main source of traffic jams on Mansehra road, which is part of Karakoram Highway (KKH).

Many city residents, government officials and some public representatives seem wary of this idea unless the main Mansehra road is widened and service roads on both sides are constructed.

Haq Nawaz Khan, an economist and former general manager Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) Taxila, told The News that the decision to ply commuter buses would add to traffic jams on Mansehra road. He said Mansehra road should be widened by removing the encroachments.

He suggested that an overhead bridge/road should be built from Fawwara Chowk up to Abbottabad Public School to effectively control the traffic jams.

Amna Sardar, a PML-N MPA on reserved seats from Abbottabad, has come out as a lone crusader for widening of Mansehra road by taking up this issue with the federal government and National Highway Authority (NHA).

She has met Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal and Chairman NHA Shahid Ashraf Tarar and apprised them about the traffic congestion problem in Abbottabad on KKH and Mansehra road.

In a recent letter to the federal minister for planning and development, copy of which is available with The News, she said: “Unfortunately Abbottabad city remained out of sight for any mega project especially in development of roads and communication system which has now surfaced as the biggest problem of the city.”

In the letter, she proposed that main road from Hassanabdal to Mansehra should be widened and made dual carriageway. She further proposed that all encroachments along the main road be removed under relevant NHA law and 6km overhead road be made from Fawwara Chowk up to Abbottabad Public School.

Talking to The News, Amna Sardar said that Ahsan Iqbal and chairman NHA had assured her that funds for the project would be allocated in the next ADP.

The local administration has held several meetings with the concerned departments to bring up a consensus solution to control traffic jams. But due to involvement of different execution agencies - PESCO, NHA, PTCL, Cantonment Board, Pakistan Army and SNGPL - and lack of coordination among them, widening of Mansehra road seems a far cry even after NHA removes the encroachments.

Thus, residents of Abbottabad, motorists, commuters and travellers are destined to be bogged down by frequent traffic jams even after introduction of proposed green bus service.


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