ISLAMABAD: In a move which is long overdue, the civic authority of the federal capital has decided to rehabilitate, upgrade and expand a key thoroughfare which links the city with its twin, Rawalpindi, the IJ Principal Road.
Instructions to devise a project concept-II worth Rs30 million has been issued.
This was disclosed by an official spokesperson of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Friday.
The spokesperson said that the IJ Principal Road had been built to service light traffic between the two cities. It caters to traffic from Pirwadhai, Ninth Avenue, Double Road, Pindorian Chungi, New Katarian, Dhoke Hassu and Faizabad apart from catering to traffic from Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtoonkhawa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
But in the absence of a dedicated ring road for the city, the city’s authorities in 2008 had shifted heavy traffic on to the road including large, heavy goods-container-bearing-trailers, trucks and even buses.
This took a toll on the road and over the years it deteriorated. Owing to its dilapidated condition, a number of accidents are reported on it on a daily basis.
Furthermore, due to the heavy flow of traffic over this road, frequent traffic jams are observed over it, especially during peak hours.
To make matters worse, the spokesperson claimed that no repair or maintenance work has been carried on the road during the past three years.
“Realising the importance of the road,” the official said, “the incumbent administration of the authority has decided to carry out an immediate extension in the road, its rehabilitation, improvement, grade separation facilities and the addition of a rigid pavement lane to cater for heavy traffic.”
For this purpose, the official said, that instructions have been issued by the responsible authority to process a project concept-II to devise feasibility for the project.
A consultant for the Rs30 million PC-II is likely to be finalised and approved within 10 days on war footing basis. In this regards, the Finance Wing has been directed to make a token allocation of Rs5 million.
After the consultant is hired, a proposal for the project concept-I for the actual construction of the road will be submitted to the federal government for inclusion in the annual Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).
Members of the civil society group Islamabad Citizens Committee (ICC) on Friday urged the government to take urgent measures to rid the federal capital of land-mafia which is allegedly creating hurdles in resolving civic issues of the city.
This demand was made during a meeting of the ICC members with the body’s President Syed Siddiq Hasan in the chair.
Hasan said that the CDA, at the behest of the land mafia, was bringing frequent changes in the original master plan of the city as a result of alleged misappropriation and deliberate negligence on part of some officials.
Highlighting some public grievances, the committee noted that toll plazas located at the entry points to the federal capital were being activated again and that they could have a negative impact on travels of locals to and from the city.
The committee called for the early completion of Metro Bus-line from Peshawar Morr to the new Islamabad International Airport.
WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP
Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2019.
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