RAWALPINDI: Divisional Commissioner Saqib Zafar has directed the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) to chalk out a plan aimed at shifting bus terminals out of the city areas.

A senior official of RDA told Dawn that the commissioner wanted the authority to shift the bus terminals from main city areas to proposed Ring Road near Chani Sher Alam, Rawat and Thalian Interchange on Motorway.

He said initially bus terminals on Peshawar Road and Soan would be shifted to Thalian Interchange.

The bus stands create a traffic mess on main G. T. Road and Peshawar Road during peak hours.

He said another proposal was also under consideration to allow Lahore-bound buses and wagons using Motorway to use Tarnol bus terminal.

Chani Sher Alam, Thalian Interchange have been proposed as sites for the project

RDA is working on the Rawalpindi Ring Road Project. According to PC-1 of the project the road will be 38-km long and have six lanes.

The road will start from the Chani Sher Alam Bridge on G.T. Road and end at the Thalian Interchange on the M-2 between Rawalpindi and Lahore near the Islamabad International Airport. It will have link roads for Rawat and Tarnol and have four intersections.

After getting directives of the commissioner, he said the RDA had started a survey of the bus terminals in the city areas to compile details of the buses, wagons and the passengers traveling to different cities, towns and villages from these terminals.

When contacted, Commissioner Saqib Zafar said the work to shift the bus terminals to outside the city had been undertaken to end traffic mess in the city areas.

He said earlier, the bus terminals were away from the residential areas but with the increase in population they had been surrounded by the residential areas.

He said the district government was trying to secure the land for the bus terminals before the start of the proposed Ring Road project as after the start of the work on the project, the properties prices around the new artery would go up.

He said RDA had been assigned the task to find suitable places for the new bus terminals. He said that the government wanted to provide maximum civic facilities to citizens.

The commissioner said the district administration had also been asked to work to shift small industrial units from the residential areas and in this regard, a survey would be launched to identify commercial activities in the residential areas.

He said commercial and residential areas should be separated so the people could live in a peaceful environment, enjoying all civic facilities as per their requirement.

Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2019