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A lack of planning does cost

A lack of planning does cost

LAHORE: Some side stretches of the signal-free corridor are being dismantled and reconstructed to separate a service road and widen a U-turn after the executing agency (LDA) failed to assess the situation while launching the project.

Engineering officials are busy these days dismantling a side stretch of Gulberg’s Main Boulevard for fixing curve stones to separate the service road that was earlier merged into the main road.

Similarly, at PIC Chowk on Jail Road, the U-turn is being widened by the officials after it failed to facilitate the heavy vehicles taking turn to connect with Canal Road.

This is not the first time the government has dismantled the newly-constructed main roads on the pretext of various amendments, ignoring financial loss to the public exchequer.

“This U-turn was constructed and opened for traffic just a month before. But it is now being dug up on the pretext of widening. It is surprising as no one is there to take the officials concerned to task,” Anwar, a resident of a nearby locality (near PIC Chowk), told Dawn.

Waheed, a shopkeeper, said: “I am surprised why officials don’t plan before. They seem to be doing everything in hurry, causing loss to the public exchequer,” he said while pointing out that the recently completed signal-free corridor appeared a failed project.

LDA Urban Development Wing Chief Engineer Israr Saeed rejected the impression, stating that interventions at two points of the corridor were being made to facilitate people. “Actually under design of the project, we had deleted provision of service road to keep the road wide. But the motorists especially traders started using this roadside stretch for parking and other purposes, causing traffic congestion. So we decided to keep the service road area separate from the main road by fixing curve stone,” he explained.

He said the change would not only end traffic congestion but also provide a service lane to the motorists.

About PIC Chowk, Mr Saeed said there was a plan to widen Canal Road besides making Jail Road underpass at full depth (16-foot high) in order to pass the heavy traffic in the beginning of this month. “Since we were predicting that we will be able to complete this work within a short span of time, we kept the U-turn on Jail Road for the cars, jeeps etc and not for the heavy traffic. But we couldn’t start work on the underpass and Canal Road widening, forcing the heavy traffic to take U-turn towards Canal Road from PIC Chowk. But it started causing traffic congestion and that’s why this U-turn is being widened,” he said.

The LDA would be able to start Canal Road and Jail Road widening by April or May after which the heavy traffic would pass through the underpass and not by taking U-turn from the PIC Chowk. Mr Saeed claimed that these two minor amendments would cost just Rs30,000 to 35,000.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2016

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