RAWALPINDI - After spending Rs 1.017 billion on the construction of Sixth Road flyover and opening it for traffic, the Punjab government is all set to inaugurate what it called “Shahbaz Sharif Flyover” on Thursday (tomorrow), but with incomplete service roads and diversions, troubling the commuters, traders, pedestrians, students and teachers.
Earlier, Chandi Chowk Flyover was inaugurated on March 10, 2012 but it still remains without LED lights, causing severe difficulties for the citizens.
Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif will inaugurate the flyover at 1:00pm and after also will address a public gathering at Pir Mir Ali Shah-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) with all the local political leadership and PML-N league workers in attending.
The construction work on the bridge was kicked off on September 25, 2012 and was to be inaugurated by December 25 by CM Punjab, but it could not be done. However, the construction and widening work of both side services roads and diversions of the fly over is yet to be done.
“It will take one month more to complete the work on service roads and diversions,” said Brig Muhammad Shahid of National Logistic Cell (NLC).
On January 5, 2013, with the opening of Sixth Road flyover, by NLC after consultation with Communication and Works Department (C&W) for vehicular movement during a simply ceremony, though the purpose of completion of remaining work without any hindrance was achieved by the NLC and C&W yet increase in the number of vehicles, the lack of supporting infrastructure has resulted in the service roads becoming clogged once more. Snarl-ups are a regular feature of the Benazir Bhutto Road (BBR) and its adjoining links such as Iran Road, Dhoke Paracha Road.
PML-N City President Sardar Naseem, MPA Raja Muhammad Hanif, officials from NLC and C&W and from city district government Rawalpindi were also present on the occasion.
When motorists or pedestrians take to the service roads, they often encounter with huge size ditches dig up by Construction Company. As the area is known as the educational hub of the city with presence of number of schools, colleges and universities, the students and the teachers are badly disturbed with the huge traffic blockage daily in morning and in evening caused by incomplete service roads.
“I cannot reach my school on time reason of which is gigantic traffic block. My school van stuck into long queues of traffic on the incomplete service roads,” said Ashiyan Ali, a school student while talking to this scribe.
Similarly, hundreds the traders, showroom owners, electronics appliances, hoteliers, juice and ice cream shops and many more running their businesses from both borders of service roads complained of facing huge loss in their businesses owing to dilapidated service roads presenting look of pool of muddy water, distancing the customers from the shops.
“Service roads are a necessity. The NLC and C&W and Punjab government should realize this. Why they are all running away from the fact?” said a professor of a near by university. He said that the governments should take notice of the delay in completion of the flyover work.
A resident of the area said that as the number of vehicles going up in city, the consturcion of flyover solved the traffic woes of the suburbs extensively. But, unfortunately, the users of service roads have not been so lucky. The service roads, which were vital to easing traffic, have not been completed at all, he said.
Muhammad Saleem, a juice shop owner, said that his business has been going in loss as before the starting of construction work of the flyover his daily sale was Rs 5000 to 7000 which now has slashed upto Rs 2000. “Customers avoid to come on my shop to have glass of juice because of muddy water gushed on incomplete service roads.
Brig Muhammad Shahid of NLC, when contacted, said that the service roads would be renovated in one month. He said that the bridge was completed opened for traffic as NLC and C&W wanted to complete service roads work without any hindrance.
“As the traffic was converted on flyover, the workers would complete renovation work of service roads with out any disturbance” he said.
On a query, Brig replied the construction company had no any tussle with political parties or district administration over the opening of flyover.
Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Imdad Ullah Bosal, despite repeated attempts, did not attend his cell phone for offering his comments on the issue.
On the other hand, N league MNAs, MPAs and local leaders have decorated the whole BBR with huge-sized portraits of CM Punjab and banners lauding Mian Shahbaz Sharif for launching scores of development works in Rawalpindi Division.