Wednesday December 01, 2021

Travel on potholed underpass a nightmare

October 18, 2021

Islamabad : A ten minutes drive on potholed Islamabad Expressway’s PWD underpass has become a harrowed experience for harried commuters.

The CDA’s tall claims of completing development projects take a big hit when one looks at the construction of the PWD underpass.

The relevant authorities have failed to meet the deadline for completion of the PWD underpass on the Islamabad Expressway at least thrice.

Despite the passage of more than four months to the first deadline of June 2021, no chance of its completion looks imminent right now. Traffic snarls and potholes have turned the PWD service road into a living hell as the pace of construction on the Rs428 million project is deadly slow owing to poor or rather compromised oversight by the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

Dust emanating from underpass roads is taking a heavy toll on the health of commuters. When a vehicle passes through underpass roads, billows of dust leave commuters gasping for breath. The underpass especially the service area connecting the highway with the PWD road is enveloped in a layer of dust. The road rather bumpy patch which is home to a host of many upscale city residential clusters is a nightmare for motorists, pedestrians, and residents alike as deep ditches and potholes, especially on the service lanes of the underpass, have taken a heavy toll on commuters.

Perennial gridlocks on these jerky roads have become a nightmare for commuters who travel on these stretches on regular basis and bear physical as well as financial loss. The entire area is now littered with dust, be it homes, roads, or trees. “The CDA authorities and the so-called private contractor have literally reduced our lives to a virtual hell. The bumpy rides and rough travel we face due to deep potholes and uneven surface of the so-called underpass and its service lanes is enough to increase our resentment against the contractors as well as CDA,” Ahmed who is also a regular commuter here, rued.

“I have seen many two-wheeler drivers and pillion riders falling in the middle of the road and sustaining injuries,” he added.

According to experts, dust on roads contributes to air pollution.

They said dust is the main component of suspended particulate matter (SPM) that pollutes the air.

The problems like pollution are a part of the development but say that it is also the government’s duty to ensure timely completion of the projects rather than allowing the unlimited delays and prolonging the miseries of the people through the diseases caused by air pollution.

The doctors said that number of patients with respiratory problems has increased manifold.

Dr. Asif Chatta said, "constant exposure to dust can lead to respiratory problems.” “Diseases like lower respiratory tract infection can become common. Dust can also trigger asthma attacks," he added.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) through its contractors started construction of the PWD underpass towards the end of last year, to ease the flow of traffic on the Islamabad Expressway. —APP

The expressway is one of busiest roads and traffic jam is a routine on it particularly from Koral to G.T. Road as this road was not widened in accordance with the need of the hours.

When contacted in this regard, an official of the civic body said that work on the said project was continued and will be completed soon.