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August 21, 2020

Overhead bridges despoiling the city

Islamabad

August 21, 2020

“Your Constitution Avenue is one of the best I have ever seen,” a prominent Turkish architect/developer said a few years back when he was visiting Islamabad. “The magnificent buildings, the sweep of the road; the wide open spaces; the greenery and general layout are very pleasing to the eye.”

I wonder what he would say now after the unsightly overhead pedestrian bridge has been installed near the Supreme Court and neighbouring buildings. This monstrosity, installed at a cost of nearly forty million rupees, has ruined the view and after the metro bus, is the next blight on the beauty of the capital. Many residents are upset about this bridge and wonder what the folks in the administration will think of next to add to the list of ‘projects’ that despoil the city. The CDA persons in charge should check out social media!

Overhead bridges have been installed in many areas of the sister cities but they are rarely used by pedestrians – they have only become convenient for motorcyclists to cross over from one side to the next. Pedestrians still run willy nilly across the road and are a menace for vehicular traffic. A classic example of an under used overhead bridge is the one near the district courts in Rawalpindi where there is a constant traffic mess throughout working hours. It would be used if the unnecessary bridge over the railway track by which pedestrians cross over from one side to the other was knocked down!

Some residents of Islamabad are usually very active to try and prevent such things from happening to their city but I guess because of the restrictions imposed by the lockdown and gatherings, being good citizens about following SOP’s, they did not protest this time.

There are news reports that three more pedestrian bridges are being put up in different parts of Islamabad. Soon it will be known as ‘Islamabad – city of pedestrian bridges’ instead of ‘Islamabad the Beautiful!’