KARACHI, Feb 21: The upgradation and beautification of I I Chundrigar Road will be completed before the end of June next at a cost of Rs 200 million under supervision of a committee, headed by Governor of State Bank of Pakistan Dr Shamshad Akhtar.
However, this road has been closed for public transport for ever for the convenience of businessmen, especially foreigners who visit financial and trade institutions mostly located on and around it.
“I.I. Chundrigar road is our financial district and it should look like that,” said the City Naib Nazima, Mrs Nasreen Jalil, while briefing newsmen at her office here on Tuesday about the beautification plan and re-routing of public transport.
She said Rs 162 million had already been deposited for this purpose by all stockholders — financial institutions operating in this area. While Rs 38 million, the remaining portion of the estimated cost, would be borne by the CDGK.
For transparent utilization of the funds and timely execution of the scheme and ensuring quality of work, a beautification committee had been set up which would be headed by SBP Chief, she said.
She said the beautification of I.I. Chundrigar Road was originally planned some 15 years back.
The City Naib Nazima said the committee was looking into a proposal of waving off Rs 5 fare of the shuttle bus service plying between Saddar and Tower via I I Chundrigar Road and to increase number of these buses.
Nasreen Jalil informed that new water supply lines were being laid under I I Chundrigar road and the Water and Sewerage Board would complete the work in March 2006.
The sewerage system had been shifted from I.I. Chundrigar road to an adjacent street, and that 35 per cent work has so far been completed.
She said power supply and telephone lines would be placed under the footpath which would be widened up to 12 feet.
Highlighting the salient features of the re-routing plan of public transport in the wake of upgradation / beautification of I.I. Chundrigar road, she said contraflow bus lane had been started from Tower to Talpur road (opposite Police Station Mithadar) to reduce the traffic load on M A Jinnah road.
Under the plan, public transport plying from M A Jinnah Road to Tower would now turn on the right from Talpur road and then on the left to Shahrah-i-Liaquat and would complete rest of their journey as usual.
Those public transport vehicles coming from M A.Jinnah road for Keamari, West Wharf , Dockyard , Gulabai etc., would complete their routes as earlier while on their return these would be diverted from Tower to contraflow bus lane on Talpur road and then turn on left to Shahrah-i-Liaquat , and complete their routes as earlier.
The public transport coming to Tower via I.I. Chundrigar Road would now turn from Shaheen Complex to Din Mohammad Wafai Road , then touch Pakistan Chouk and Light House before travelling on M.A. Jinnah road to reach Tower.
Executive District Officer (Transport) Mohammad Athar , who was also present, said 580 buses and coaches permitted for I.I. Chundrigar Road had now been diverted to M A Jinnah road. Thus, according to official figures , 2996 buses and coaches would be plying M A Jinnah road.
To another question, he said a proposal was under consideration to declare all coaches plying in the city as minibuses for their failure to maintain their original status of operations. This would benefit the commuters who would be paying fares fixed for mini-buses.
“These operate on the pattern of mini-buses with same load of passengers, and picking and dropping the passengers in violation of their designated stops,” he said.
The City Naib Nazima, later, visited M A Jinnah road and I I Chundrigar road to take an account of traffic flow under the new plan.—APP