ISLAMABAD: The twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi need a ring road for the diversion of heavy vehicles so as to avoid traffic jams, said a statement issued by the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Monday.
Due to absence of a ring road, all heavy vehicles pass through the twin cities causing traffic jams almost daily, said ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed, Senior Vice President Muhammad Naveed and Vice President Nisar Ahmed Mirza.
They said that traffic jams affect business communities and adversely impact the daily life of the people.
During morning and evening hours, large number of heavy vehicle ply on the main highway of twin cities due to which businessmen, employees and students have to face great problems in reaching their destinations, the ICCI leader noted.
They said the heavy duty traffic was also badly damaging the main highway of the twin cities.
They said in 1991 a plan was made by the Punjab Government to construct a ring road from Channi Sher Alam to Phallian near Chakri Interchange on the motorway, but no progress was made on this important project. Then in 2008, a fresh feasibility study was conducted to construct ring road from Channi Sher Alam to Fatejang near New Islamabad Airport.
An economic zone was also planned on the ring road and the total cost of the whole project was estimated at Rs.74 billion that included construction of 75 kilometer road and economic zone. Later on, the Rawalpindi Development Authority changed the design dropping the establishment of economic zone and reducing the length of the road from 75 kilometers to 54 kilometers in order to reduce the cost of the project. They said after the construction of ring road, the wholesale market of the city was to be shifted to Channi Sher Alam to facilitate traders to transport goods through ring road to KP, Azad Kashmir and other areas. However, it was unfortunate that despite doing so much working, no headway was made on this important project. They said the Punjab government had excluded this key project from its annual development plan of 2017-18 and asked the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA). Transferring the project to the authority was not a wise move on art of the provincial government, the said.
The chamber’s leadership said that government should issue funds for this important project or construct it on public-private partnership basis so that the people and the business community of the twin cities could get rid of traffic jams.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2018.