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Korangi Crossing flyover opens to traffic amid inquiry into ‘fake’ inauguration

Korangi Crossing flyover opens to traffic amid inquiry into ‘fake’ inauguration

KARACHI: The newly-constructed flyover at Korangi Crossing was finally opened to traffic on Tuesday on a directive of the chief minister who had told the authorities not to wait for official inauguration of road and flyover projects after their completion, officials said.

The blockades, which had been placed on the flyover after its ‘fake’ inauguration on Sunday, were removed in the light of the chief minister’s order.

The flyover was ‘informally’ opened after some Karachi Metropolitan Corporation officials had ‘mistakenly’ believed that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah would inaugurate it on Sunday as tents had been pitched up for notables and the media, with a ribbon arranged at a designated place near the flyover. However, people themselves cut the ribbon and ‘inaugurated’ the flyover. The news about the bridge’s inauguration went viral on the electronic media giving the impression that the city mayor and area people opened the bridge on their own in the absence of the chief minister.

The CM’s office expressed its lack of knowledge about any such inauguration. It was not on the chief minister’s schedule that day, the statement added.

The chief minister himself ordered the local government minister to launch an inquiry into the ‘fake’ inauguration; as such issues could impede his government’s plan to uplift the city’s development portfolio.

“Whosoever has done it will be exposed in the inquiry,” said a government official.

As the news went viral, some ‘unidentified’ people placed hurdles on the flyover and blocked the traffic until Tuesday when the bridge was finally opened. “The chief minister has explicitly ordered all the relevant authorities not to keep any bridge or underpass etc closed after its completion,” said an official.

“Open these facilities as soon as they are completed for the convenience of the people. Don’t keep them closed for the purpose of official inauguration,” the official quoted Mr Shah as saying.

The officials said when the flyover was ‘officially completed’, its closure was ‘unwarranted’.

A KMC official said whatever happened during the past two days was a ‘mistake’ on the part of certain officials who would explain reasons behind the mess to the senior authorities.

“The bridge is formally open, no matter it is officially inaugurated or not,” said another official in the Sindh government.

The project saw a series of obstacles, which apart from regular motorists affected the patients and their attendants to the Indus Hospital, one of the leading health facilities of the town, in the past few months.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2017

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