LAHORE: The ongoing construction of Gulshan-i-Ravi-Samanabad underpass has become a headache for the motorists while crossing Samanabad Mor on Multan Road or entering Samanabad from Gulshan-i-Ravi and vice versa.
The situation has become intolerable for the commuters as it is also affecting them economically in terms of wastage of fuel while being stuck in traffic congestion.
“The entire city has become tough for the motorists these days due to various projects or the other reasons -- security protocol, increasing traffic congestion, accidents etc. Look at the scene, as the traffic is blocked for a long time. But no one is present here to create some ease for us,” deplores Anwar, a motorist stuck in traffic on Multan Road near Samanabad Mor.
“It is unbearable,” he added while talking to Dawn.
Another motorist Ishtiaq criticised the city’s civic agencies for not planning well about the launch of mega projects.
“A couple of days ago, I remained stuck in traffic for a long time. And today I am stuck here. Some days ago, I had to face an ordeal near Aiwan-i-Adl. Is there anyone to see and remove such a horrible mess that has made our life terrible? It is also affecting us economically and environmentally too due to wastage of petrol,” he said.
At present, the entire traffic moving on Multan Road (especially between Sodiwal/Yateem Khana Chowk and Chauburji remains stuck while reaching at Samanabad Mor, as a bottleneck has been created for the motorists to cross this point.
Similarly, the motorists entering Multan Road from Gulshan-i-Ravi are also facing problems while going to Samanabad as they first take left turn (before Samanabad Mor) through Tauheed Park to reach LOS/Multan Road and then enter Samanabad.
“The cost of living in our country, especially in Lahore, has increase too much. And a major chunk of our money is spent on mobility. In other countries, the cost of living is less than Pakistan,” said a motor car dealer at Samanabad.
He said construction work has adversely affected our businesses, which are already facing slump. “These issues are forcing the people to move abroad permanently,” he said.
On the other hand, the Lahore Development Authority, keeping in view the issues related to public mobility, has accelerated pace of work on the project.
LDA DG Aamir Ahmad Khan also visited the Samanabad underpass project on Tuesday and reviewed the ongoing development works.
On this occasion, Chief Engineer II, LDA Mazhar Hussain Khan, Project Director Muhammad Asad and other engineers briefed him about construction work.
“The construction work is in full swing, as 350 out of 863 piles have been completed so far,” said Mazhar Khan while speaking on the occasion.
The DG directed the project administration to plant five trees at least against uprooting of one tree at the site. “Those trees should be cut or moved which are very necessary,” he said.
He directed the PHA [Parks and Horticulture Authority] officials to take all possible measures for environmental protection. He was of the view that the work of shifting sewerage, water and Sui gas pipeline should be geared up.
“Effective management and additional personnel should be deployed to save the citizens from traffic problems,” he said, adding that he would not tolerate any negligence or delay in this regard.
It merits mentioning that the government has revised timeline for the completion of this project from June to April. The construction of the Rs2.033 billion project was launched on Dec 15. Since the project is aimed at reducing environment pollution, a large population of Samanabad, Gulshan-i-Ravi, Tauheed Park, Multan Road, Chauburji, Yateem Khana, and neighbouring areas will be the primary beneficiaries in terms of crossing Multan Road from Samanabad Mor to enter Samanabad and Gulshan-i-Ravi and accessing Multan Road from both directions.
The project involves the widening of roads turning toward Multan Road (Chauburji and Thokar) from Gulshan-i-Ravi and Samanabad.
It will cause the shifting of utilities and services, including Wasa (drainage pipeline), electrical (poles, wires, etc.), PTCL, and gas. According to the project brief, yearly fuel savings cost, vehicle running cost, and travel time saving will be Rs45.34 million, Rs68.63m, and Rs35.8m, respectively.
Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2023
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