THE University Road is one of the busiest roads in Karachi. Currently, it is in a mess, and is fast becoming a mess itself. The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Red Line project is under construction for a few months, but its pace is irritatingly slow. The fact is that the pace ‘was’, not ‘is’, slow, because for the last at least couple of weeks, there is nothing happening at all on that front.
There is no machinery on site, there is no labour force, and, indeed, no visible construction activity. Has the project already been abandoned? By the looks of it, that is very much the case.
The project, we were told, would be completed in three years. Even if that was true, what were the alternative routes for the traffic to flow across all those years? None. The fact is that even the lanes and streets running adjacent to the University Road on both sides were not carpeted to provide some relief to the people commuting to and from the area.
With the pace at which the work is being carried out, there is no chance for the project to be anywhere near completion in three years. The current lull in activity suggests it may well take twice as many years, if not more.
Millions of people use the road every day. Their agony is beyond imagination for those who are lucky enough to avoid using it.
The project had started months ago and all it has achieved thus far is the intense squeezing of the road, resulting in slow traffic the whole day, and severe traffic jams during rush hours, as can be seen in the accompa-nying picture above.
University students and people residing in the area get stuck in dreadful traffic every day. Students get late for their academic activities and classes. It takes me, a university student, around 45 minutes to reach the university, which was earlier a matter of 15 minutes.
The pace of construction should be accelerated to facilitate the citizens of the city as soon as possible. The authorities concerned must take swift action in resolving this crucial matter.
Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2023
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