ISLAMABAD, Sep 15 (APP): Capital Development Authority (CDA) was seemed least interested to end miseries of the commuters plying on Islamabad Expressway especially being faced for the last four years after the announcement of making the corridor signal-free from Zero Point to Rawat.
The authority has been giving assurances time and again to remove bottlenecks at the Gulberg interchange, Lohi Bher, PWD and Swan Gardens sections of the expressway to ensure smooth flow of traffic as there was a delay in start of second phase of the signal-free corridor – Gulberg Interchange to Rawat.
Due to lethargy of the civic body, the travelers daily spend hours to cover a distance of minutes to reach their respective destinations.
The expressway is one of the busiest roads, connecting several housing societies with federal capital and facilitating thousands of people to reach their offices, business places, collages, universities, schools and hospitals, but they had to undergo traffic mess on regular basis due to poor arrangements and negligence of the CDA.
On August 20, the CDA had announced to start improvement work of Islamabad Expressway from Koral to Rawat section from next day (August 21), but it was just a joke and attempt to play with the emotions of people, who took a sigh of relief and shared the news with joy in their Whatsapp groups and on facebook greeting each other that their voice had been heard.
As per the announcement, the CDA started some work to construct a U-Turn near PWD on August 21, but after digging side areas of the road on the same day, all machinery and workers disappeared, multiplying the commuters’ problems and danger as the dugout portion could lead to fatal accidents any time.
When approached, a senior official of CDA admitted that it was decided to start the improvement work with the understanding that construction material would be provided by the adjoining housing societies. “We moved the machineries for the expansion of road, but the societies detracted from the agreement,” he added.
“It was decided that the civil works will be jointly carried out by the societies and CDA, under which slip lanes for entrance and exit from PWD and Pakistan Town was to be provided by widening of U-Turn at the PWD signal to ensure uninterrupted traffic flow at these locations. And, the interim project will be concluded in collaboration with the private housing societies.”
He said all the societies falling in jurisdiction of Islamabad Capital Territory and the administration had been approached to press the societies for cooperating with the CDA.
Meanwhile, an official of Islamabad Traffic Police told APP that written request had been made with CDA time and again to improve the road conditions from Gulberg to T-Chowk but the civic body paid no due attention towards the issue.
He said sufficient traffic police deployment had been made there to ensure the smooth flow of traffic but the capacity of the road was the biggest issue. “The capacity of the road is to handle the traffic flow is much lower than the traffic pressure,” he added.
He said Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) had banned entry of heavy traffic in the city for seven hours on daily basis to keep the traffic moving during peak hours and for maximum convenience of the road users. Entry of the heavy traffic is not allowed at the Expressway from 7 am to 10 am, and from 4 pm to 8 pm.
Under the plan, the heavy traffic coming from Grand Trunk (GT) Road Lahore or heading to Sabzi Mandi from the GT Road Peshawar and Motorway is not allowed to enter the city during the seven-hour period. Likewise, heavy traffic coming from Azad Kashmir via Murree, Bhara Kau, Kotli Sattrayn, Lehtrar road, Kahuta or Rawalpindi Kahuta road is also banned to enter the Capital.