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Work on Takht Bhai flyover faces delay

Work on Takht Bhai flyover faces delay

MARDAN: Residents of Takht Bhai tehsil and its adjacent areas have demanded of the authorities concerned to ensure early completion of Takht Bhai flyover and avoid further delay in the project.

Sources said that the project of Takht Bhai railway crossing flyover had been tendered on Nov 28, 2012 during the Awami National Party-led provincial government. They said that construction work on the flyover was started on Feb 6, 2013 which was scheduled to be completed by August 5, 2014.

They claimed that initially length of the flyover was one kilometre from Rehman Cotton Mill to Takht Bhai courts, for which Rs4 billion had been approved. However, later changes were made in the original design of flyover after which its length was reduced to 500 metres and construction cost to Rs1.2 billion.

Muslim Khan, a resident of Takht Bhai, told this correspondent that people had been facing numerous problems due to the slow pace of work and a few minutes’ journey through the railway crossing point now took at least an hour because of hurdles.

He said that patients, students and government employees were the worst-affected owing to the slow pace of work on the project.

A government employee who requested anonymity said that the slow pace of work on the flyover had not only affected the routine life, but also caused pollution in the nearby localities, including the main bazaar.

He claimed that contract of the flyover project had been awarded to Riaz Malik, a PML-N MNA from NA-118 (Lahore-I), who did not bother to visit site of the flyover to check the quality and pace of work on the project. He said that use of small machinery instead of heavy machinery was also one of the reasons for delay in completion of work.

Mohammad Zada, a businessman, told Dawn that the local traders had suffered huge financial losses due to delay in completion of the flyover. He said that they had also staged protests aginst the slow pace of work, but no one paid attention.

When contacted, Iftikhar Ali Mashwani, a PTI MPA, claimed that as the contractor belonged to PML-N he was intentionally delaying completion of the project to defame the PTI-led coalition government.

He, however, said that the relevant NHA officials had assured the chief minister to complete the flyover by Aug 2016.

When this correspondent called on mobile phone of Mr Malik to seek his comments in this connection, his personal secretary picked up the call and said that he (Riaz Malik) was taking rest and would call this scribe when he woke up, but despite passage of 48 hours he did not make any contact for giving his version.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2016

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