Flyover fails to free Benazir Bhutto Road of traffic jams

RAWALPINDI, March 25: The City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) on Sunday closed down Naz Cinema U-turn on Benazir Bhutto Road for four days to check improvement in traffic flow for and from Chandni Chowk Flyover.

The CDGR installed cemented barricades to stop the traffic movement from Kohati Bazaar to Khanna Road. It will also close down the U-turn of Kohati Bazaar if this effort did not work.Chandni Chowk Flyover worth Rs2.5 billion was constructed to decrease the traffic problems on Benazir Bhutto Road. However, after the flyover’s completion and opening, the traffic jams still occurred at Rehmanabad Chowk, Naz Cinema Chowk and Kohati Bazaar U-turn.

The traffic mess at these points was vexing the nerves of the motorists who visited Islamabad each day, as on their return, they had to wait for 30 to 45 minutes due to snarl-ups.

The problem forced the CDGR to sit with traffic police and traffic engineering department of Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) to find a solution. Upon this, the CDGR and traffic police conducted a joint survey and recommended to close down two U-turns on BB Road.

They proposed to close down Naz Cinema and Kohati Bazaar U-turns for traffic. PML-N’s local leaders were alleged to be the main hurdle in the way of implementing this decision as office and house of former MNA Haji Pervaiz was located at Kohati Bazaar main road and on the request of local traders, he stopped the CDGR from implementing its decision.

However, sensing the gravity of the situation, the CDGR managed to convince the PML-N leadership and closed down the U-turn for the week ahead.

“The U-turn at Naz Cinema on BB Road will remain closed for next four days and if the traffic flow does not improve, we will close Kohati Bazaar U-turn too,” said District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar while talking to Dawn.

He said there was no traffic jam on Sunday. “It was expected due to CNG load management as there was less traffic on the roads,” he explained.

He said the administration would check the traffic flow during next three days from Monday to Wednesday as there would be no CNG shortage on these days and the traffic volume would increase.

“It will not be the last option to improve the traffic flow at this section of the road. We will find the solution very soon and improve the traffic flow,” he hoped.