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Islamabad

SA
Saeed Ahmed
December 8, 2017

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Unending traffic trauma for Pindiites

Unending traffic trauma for Pindiites

Rawalpindi: Though the Punjab Government and other related authorities in the past have enforced several development projects to overcome problem of traffic suspension on Benazir Bhutto Road (old Murree Road), yet the dilemma still exists, particularly at certain points from Chandni Chowk to Mareer Chowk.
This unending problem not only creates hardships for motorists but has become a nuisance even for pedestrians throughout the day whether it be peak hours or regular times. While taking charge of Mayor of Rawalpindi in February 2017, Sardar Nasim made a pledge to end traffic hazards at Benazir Bhutto Road with the implementation of several projects including 20 flyovers and pedestrian bridges on several points besides making interchanges starting from old Naz Cinema Chowk, however, ten months have elapsed but no practical step has been taken towards ending this problem.
It merits mentioning here that previous governments had implemented projects like widening of Benazir Bhutto Road, flyovers at certain points, construction of underpass at Committee Chowk. However, their efforts proved to be in vain because the problem of traffic choking still persists in BBR particularly from Chandni Chowk to Mareer Chowk which wreaks havoc to the nerves of motorists to a great extent throughout the day. Being helpless, the motorists see no other option but curse the concerned authorities for their total failure to rid the people from traffic jams at the road.
According to survey completed recently, the traffic hurdles persists on Benazir Bhutto Road due to couple of reasons -- one of the major reason is the construction of Metro Bus bridges, the service roads starting from Chandni Chowk to Faizabad have become narrow and congested on both sides thus reducing the lanes for vehicles to move along smoothly. Further at all service roads small routes of residential areas are linked with main routes of Benazir Bhutto Road with no signal lights on chowks creating traffic suspensions at all hours starting from 8 am to 11:30 pm.
Reacting to this agonising situation, motorists and pedestrians voiced deep concern and termed it the failure of the concerned departments. While registering their anger and criticism with this correspondent, they proposed the closure of linking routes with the Benazir Bhutto Road. Iftikhar Arif and his brother, Nazir Arif, while commenting on the issue stressed upon the widening off service roads starting from Benazir Bhutto Hospital to Faizabad on both sides. They said besides widening service roads, the authorities should also install signal lights on all chowks of the entire Benazir Bhutto Road. The non-existence of signals not only create traffic hurdles but pose a great problem for the pedestrians to cross roads from one side to another.
Their views were seconded by Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Siddiue and Hashim Khan who said that their patients were admitted in Benazir Bhutto Hospital. In order to purchase medicines from chemists, they usually require 20 minutes on each sides to cross the road. By that time the condition of their patients further deteriorates.
When asked, Mayor Rawalpindi, Sardar Nasim, said efforts are underway to resolve the issue of traffic suspensions on Benazir Bhutto Road. A feasibility study is underway to identify the problems. With the completion of feasibility study, a summary would be forwarded to the Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif for his approval and allocation of funds. However, he said that due to Metro Bus Bridge from Faizabad to Mareer Chowk, construction of pedestrian bridges is out of question. The concerned authorities are not agreeing on pedestrian bridges. The pedestrians may use Metro bridges for crossing one side to another of Benazir Bhutto Road, he suggested. The plans of flyovers and construction of interchanges would be enforced practically to end this gruesome problem of traffic congestion on BBR, the mayor assured.

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