LAHORE: The government has finally accepted the demand of the business and trade community to widen the Aik Moria Bridge to avoid frequent traffic jams, The Express Tribune learnt on Thursday.
The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) issued a notice inviting bids. Official documents indicate the authority has estimated the project cost at a little over Rs259 million, which includes widening of Aik Moria Pull and remodelling connecting roads.
The city developer has invited bids from Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) and recognised engineering firms with the experience of building at least two underpasses or similar projects. The authority has targeted completion of the project in three months after awarding of the contract.
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Former Lahore deputy mayor and a noted trader of Circular Road, Asghar Butt, said it was a longstanding demand of the trading community as the area was a major choke point.
“This was a decades-old proposal which will finally be implemented. In 1992, when I was deputy mayor, I used to hold meetings on various proposals. However, they could not materialise due to a lack of resources,” he maintained.
A trader from Misri Shah Iron Market, Muhammad Amjad, highlighted that the Aik Moria Pull was one of the main connecting points between Circular Road, Shadbagh and Misri Shah. “Circular Road hosts the biggest wholesale market of the province, while Shadbagh and Misri Shah were main commercial hubs of iron and steel products,” he said. “As it’s an area with a high volume of trade, traffic remained choked most of the time with heavy commercial vehicles.”
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Traders said that though the government has finally decided to widen roads, it would be better if they created a large big parking plaza to cater to the increasing flow of traffic. Lack of parking spaces was another big issue being faced by traders and citizens at large.
Official documents highlighted that the city developer has also decided to give a modern look to the area. The proposal showed the authority would revamp existing infrastructure, like sewerage, water supply and footpaths, in addition to widening the bridge and adjoining roads. New road signs, traffic signals and LED lights would also be installed under the development scheme.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2017.
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