ISLAMABAD: After years of darkness on Kashmir Highway between Peshawar Mor to Golra Mor, the Capital Development Authority has decided to install LED lights on a portion of the highway that leads to the Islamabad International Airport (IIA).

There are currently no functional streetlights on the highway from Peshawar Mor to the airport.

CDA officials said they have been receiving complaints from people travelling from the airport to Islamabad.

Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed told Dawn on Sunday that the initial estimation has been carried out and a tender will be called in the next few days.

Mr Ahmed said: “The tender will be called in the ongoing week. We are going to carry out this project on a war footing, as citizens have been facing lighting issues.”

Project to be pursued on war footing, tender to be called this week, authority’s chairman says

But when asked if lights will be installed up to the airport, Mr Ahmed said: “We will install lights in the jurisdiction of Islamabad only.”

The CDA maintains Kashmir Highway up to Golra Mor, a CDA official said, after which a link road leads to the airport.

“The installation of lights is a very important project. It should have been done before the airport was inaugurated [in May 2018],” a CDA official who asked not to be named said. He added that the Supreme Court recently noted the lack of lighting on Kashmir Highway.

“It is time to execute this project on a war footing not only to provide safe travel to people but also promote a good image of the country as foreigners surely feel bad after seeing darkness when they enter Islamabad through Kashmir Highway,” the official said.

Traffic signals on Kashmir Highway

In a press release, the CDA announced that work will soon commence on replacing conventional traffic signals on Kashmir Highway with a smart signal system, as bids for the execution of this project have been opened.

The statement, issued Sunday, said that the initially signals from G-7 to G-11, including the intersection at 7th Avenue, G-9, G-10, H-11 and G-11 will be replaced.

It said the new system will help ensure smooth and automated traffic control on the highway.

“These signals have optical sensors which change the timings of the green and red lights based on the traffic volume on either side. These signals will visually process the amount of vehicles and the timing will be altered automatically,” the statement said.

It added that smart signals would lower the need for physical intervention to control traffic and facilitate thousands of commuters.

CDA spokesperson Syed Safdar Ali said: “Bids have been opened. The project will be carried out at a cost of Rs2.48 billion and completed within one month’s time.”

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2019