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January 13, 2020

CDA still awaits nod from govt to start work


January 13, 2020

Islamabad : There was a flicker of hope for those living on both sides of the Islamabad Highway beyond the ‘Korrang Nullah bridge’ towards GT Road when the Capital Development Authority (CDA) announced that it was ready to complete the overly delayed ‘Signal Free Five Lane Expressway’ right up to T-Chowk near Rawat out of its own resources.

This is well over three months that the CDA has sent the proposal to the government to allow the Authority to complete the stalled work on this project, which was supposed to be completed by December 2018.

Commuters and transporters face nightmarish traffic jams and congestion almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week because it is the inter-provincial road and all the heavy transport, especially the long vehicles, trailers, oil tankers, trucks and dumpers use this road from Peshawar to Karachi.

Not that the road from Korang nullah up to T-Chowk near Rawat in the south of the federal capital turns into a two-lane highway, creating a bottleneck for the traffic moving out of Islamabad but because of lack of maintenance the road has become very dilapidated, with deep ruts, cracks and pits and potholes, making travelling almost a nauseating experience.

When the CDA, following a survey, decided to complete this project out of its own resources, it was believed that the government will take a quick action and would allow the Authority to go ahead with it. However, the permission from the Planning Commission is still awaited.

The Project Director of the CDA had told ‘The News’ earlier that in the first phase work would be started on the PWD Underpass/overhead and simultaneously on the widening of Korrang nullah bridge.

“If these two segments of the project are completed, the traffic load beyond PWD will considerably thin out because majority of living in Bahria Town, the PWD, Korang Town, Pakistan Town, Police Foundation, Media Town, FBR colony and the Doctors’ Town take exit from Islamabad Highway at PWD.

Meanwhile, it was early last year that the Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad, on persistent pleas from the public living in the private sector housing societies on both sides of this part of the Islamabad Highway, directed to stop movement of all heavy vehicles from 7 am to 9 am and from 5 pm to 7 pm to facilitate the motorists.

The Islamabad Deputy Commissioner told ‘The News’ that the entry/exit of heavy traffic, especially the trailers, oil tankers, dumpers and trucks cannot be prevented in Islamabad like in all other major cities because it is an inter-provincial highway.

However, he said that the two-hour restriction on movement of heavy traffic in morning and evening has been imposed to facilitate all those commuters who have to reach their offices, businesses, schools, colleges and universities in morning and return in evening.

But it has been observed that this prevention of movement of heavy traffic in the evening is not observed as strictly as in the morning. And, for the past few weeks these trailers, oil tankers and dumpers have started appearing on this part of the Islamabad Highway between 7 am to 9 am as well.

When the issue was raised with the Deputy Commissioner, he promised that he would take up the matter with the senior officials of the ITP and would ask for their cooperation to help the commuters have safe journey by maintaining a smooth flow of traffic.

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