KARACHI, Nov 23: The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation consultants on the Shahrah-i-Pakistan signal-free corridor project have admitted that at least one of the four flyovers was in conflict with the proposed mass transit corridors, it emerged on Friday.
According to sources, this fact was revealed in a communication between the KMC in-house consultants and the Karachi Mass Transit Cell, which has time and again been highlighting that the one being built at Dak-khana was on the route of the proposed mass transit corridors.
The sources said that NAA Consultant Engineers’ Nadeem Ansari had sent a communication (NAA &E-I-R C/HO/TL/IHC/12/765, dated Nov 14, 2012) to KMTC director general Rasheed Mughal on the subject ‘Space between flyovers/ carriageways on Shahrah-i-Pakistan and S. M. Taufeeq Road Corridor’, in response to a letter sent by the KMTC on the issue.
In his letter, Mr Ansari says: “With reference to your letter No: KMTC/KMC/Dir/2012/116, kindly note that the horizontal space between the flyover carriageways has been provided in the design as per mass transit requirements.
“A drawing showing the conflict of MRT route with the flyover has been submitted to the competent authority for their attention and subsequent orders,” concludes Mr Anasri, the team leader of the KMC’s in-house consultants.
The consultant was responding to the KMTC which in its latest letter to him had said: “In continuation to our letters No: KMTC/Dir/KMC/2012/82 dated July 23, 2012 and KMTC/Dir/KMC/2012/100 dated Sept 17, 2012, followed by a detailed meeting of director general KMTC (Rasheed Mughal) with you (Mr Anasri) in your office on Sept 18, 2012 in which he had shown serious concerns about the designing and implementation of Dak-khana flyover in conflict with pre-feasibility of Rail-based MRT Blue Line (Superhighway to Tower) proposed by JICA in its study on Karachi Transportation Improvement Project (KTIP), you are requested to kindly intimate the latest status to this effect.”
The sources said that the KMC was constructing four flyovers — at Water Pump, Ayesha Manzil, Dak-khana and Teen Hatti — to make one of the major traffic arteries of the city a signal-free corridor so that traffic coming from the Superhighway could reach Guru Mandir unhindered.The KMTC sources said the under-construction Dak-khana flyover was in clash with the proposed MRT Blue Line route.
They said the KMC seemed to be in a hurry and was not even following the mandatory conditions as it had not even bothered to get the environmental impact assessment study results approved by the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency.
They said that the KMC had started the work without even initiating the EIA study and it was only after the issue had been raised by the media that the KMC hired consultants to carry out the EIA study, which was currently under way. Rather than showing some respect for the law and waiting for the EIA being approved by Sepa, which might also object to it, the KMC continues to carry out work on the flyovers.
The KMC has not even bothered to get an NOC from the KMTC that the incumbent KMC administrator had ordered a few months back.
In his communication to different officials and organisations, administrator Mohammad Hussain Syed had stated that whoever was planning to carry out a development project that was in alignment with the proposed KMTC projects, he should consult the KMTC and seek an NOC before initiating the project. But in total disregard of its administrator’s directive, the KMC started work on the flyovers round the clock with an aim to complete the project within a few months. The sources said that when government organisations disregarded and violated the laws and no action was taken against them, the government lost its moral authority to take action against private bodies violating the laws.