LAHORE, Sept 27: The Lahorites, who have been facing travel problems due to ongoing construction of the Metro Bus System (MBS) Project on Ferozepur and other major roads for the last four months or so, will face more inconvenience on Multan Road after the authorities on Thursday formally launched the work to reconstruct it from Scheme Mor to Chauburji.

Multan Road was the only major road left in the city where the construction activities had to be carried out after a leading construction firm completed the reconstruction/rehabilitation of this road from Thokar Niaz Beg to Scheme Mor amid laying of a central drainage system and installation of pedestrian bridges a couple of months ago.

“We have started laying drainage pipes in middle of the road by covering the site with iron sheets,” Rana Sohail, an official of the National Logistic Cell (NLC), told Dawn.

He said the construction of road and completion of laying the drainage system amid digging work under the earth on this five-kilometre long stretch would take at least three months.

He said the government had reportedly planned to start demolishing the shops within next couple of days on both sides under the land acquisition plan.

Sohail said the owners of scores of shops, which were already marked by the officials concerned as acquired and demolished for widening of the road, had been issued final notices to vacate them in the coming days.

On the other hand, the launch of construction work on the road had created panic among the shopkeepers doing business there.

“Though we appreciate development work on the road, the authorities should also compensate us by paying according to the market price and not according to government rates,” Muhammad Ashraf, an irritated shopkeeper told Dawn. He criticised the Punjab government for launching various major projects in the city at a time when a number of roads were already dug up.

Husain Ali, a commuter, said the construction work would badly affect the routine business of the city, mainly the traffic flow.

He said the government should properly plan launch of various development projects in the city rather than troubling the citizens. He said the construction work on MBS had already caused serious issues.

Lahore Commissioner Jawad Rafique Malik told Dawn the authorities were paying handsome compensation of Rs1 million per marla to shopkeepers whose shops had been acquired. He said he had directed the construction company to initially lay the drainage pipes in the middle of the road and then start other constructions.

“The government knows well about the problems the people are facing and we will try our best to complete development projects at the earliest,” Mr Malik added.

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