Instead of offering a solution, the Chandni Chowk flyover has created more congestion on the busy Benazir Bhutto (BB) Road. The project, worth Rs1.25 billion, was inaugrated earlier this month by the Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Mian Shahbaz Sharif.
However, the traffic police and district administration have been unable to ensure a smooth flow of traffic on the road from the Benazir Bhutto Hospital to Committee Chowk. This is because the traffic after passing the newly-constructed flyover, gets stuck in the area around Naz Cinema, Waris Khan, Kohati Bazaar and Taili Mohala, said a traffic warden.
He added that the authorities have set up a surveillance centre on the rooftop of roadside plaza to monitor the timing and intensity of the traffic congestion following the construction of the flyover.
The traffic police found that two U-turns on the road were causing the problem: the first at Naz Cinema and the other one at Kohati Bazaar. The traffic flows easily coming from Islamabad and passing the flyover but gets stuck after crossing the bridge as the road is narrow.
When contacted, the District Coordination Officer (DCO) Rawalpindi Saqib Zaffar confirmed that the city administration had been observing the post-flyover traffic flow on the busy road. For starters, they decided to block the U-turn at Naz Cinema to make sure that the traffic was not congested in the area. If needed, the other U-turn at Kohati Bazaar would be blocked as well, he added.
On steps to permanently solve the issue, the DCO said the CM had announced construction of another flyover at Sixth Road Chowk. He added the road at the point of Marrir Chowk would also be widened underneath the Railway Bridge creating two tunnels.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2012.