KARACHI, June 7: All the three underpasses being constructed as major components of the signal-free corridor (from Site to airport) are under serious threat of land-sliding in case their side walls are not built before the forthcoming monsoon season which, according to Met office, will start from June 15.

Employees of the contractors associated with the project apprehend that all the three underpasses would face land sliding and almost the entire steel-bending works carried out so far would suffer extensive damage if the monsoon season sets in earlier than its scheduled date of June 15.

Admitting that an incident of land sliding has already occurred at the site of one of the three underpasses recently owing to jerks caused by heavy vehicles moving all along the under-construction underpasses on the diversionary route, the sources said that some engineers and labourers who were working on the project’s site were, however, escaped miraculously.

“Though work on constructing thick concrete wall, measuring around 2.5-foot-wide, all along the underpasses should have been initiated much early to complete it before the monsoon season, the contractors’ men could not do so as the gigantic work pertaining to shifting of cables and lines of different utility services consumed more than the anticipated time,” the sources added.

In all, three underpasses are being built near Nazimabad Flyover, Liaquatabad No 10 and Gharibabad as major components of signal-free corridor to ensure unhindered flow of vehicular traffic from SITE industrial area to Jinnah International Airport as well as to save time and fuel of motorists.

All the under-construction underpasses are 12.5-metre-wide and on an average 9-metre-deep but their length differs from each other as the Gharibabad Underpass is 600-metre-long, Liaquatabad Underpass 560-metre-long while Nazimabad’s Underpass has around 700 metres length.

When the contractor of both Liaquatabad and Nazimabad underpasses, Mr Akbar, was asked that how much time it would take to complete the underpasses’ wall work, he said that the wall and roof construction work of both the underpasses was being carried out, simultaneously. He said that the entire wall construction work and more than 80 per cent roof laying work of Liaquatabad Underpass would be completed by June 30 while the entire roof and wall construction of Gharibabad Underpass would be accomplished by the end of July.

Asked what damages land sliding incidents could cause to the underpass work undertaken so far, he said that if the city got rains for a day it would not cause any damage but if heavy downpour continued for three to five days, the entire steel-bending work would have to be carried out afresh.

He said that the most-modern pumps, each having a capacity to drain out 1,200 gallons of water per minute, had already been deployed at the projects’ site and in case of rainwater accumulates at the underpasses sites, they would be used for draining out rainwater.

FLYOVERS: Work on four other components of the signal-free corridor (flyovers and interchanges) is in full swing and if the present pace of is maintained, all these projects will be completed much before the Ideas-2006 (International Defence Exhibition and seminars) scheduled for November.

These projects include construction of flyovers and interchanges at Hassan Square, National Stadium-Pir Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi Road intersection, Ibrahim Rahmatulla-Sharea Faisal intersection and PAF Shah Faisal Base traffic intersection.

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