LAHORE: After years of talk of fixing the dilapidated Allama Iqbal Road, a Rs550 million plan to rehabilitate the thoroughfare was launched on Wednesday The project was inaugurated at a ceremony at Bohrwala Chowk attended by MNA Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Lahore Transport Company chairman Khwaja Ahmad Hassaan and District Coordination Officer (DCO) Ahad Khan Cheema. Previously, there was a plan to widen Allama Iqbal Road into a six-lane road and build a flyover at Garhi Shahu Chowk. But the high cost of acquiring land for the project, and resistance from traders who stood to lose their plazas and shops on the main road, scuppered the plan. Under the approved plan, the road will be rebuilt from Bohrwala Chowk to Mayo Gardens, a distance of 2.92 kilometres. Engineers will lay sewerage and water supply lines in the first phase of the project before road construction begins. The government will have to buy seven kanals to widen the road at Garhi Shahu Chowk, the busiest part of the road, but otherwise only temporary encroachments will be cleared to construct the road. Sadiq, the local MNA, said in his speech that a flyover would eventually be built, but not as part of this project. He said work on the road would be finished by October 21.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2011.