Prolonged re-construction activity along Ferozepur Road has put the citizens in a perpetual state of trouble while creating multiple commuting problems.
The Ferozepur Road is the top thoroughfare of the city and does not only connect the major roads across the city but also serves as an inter-city transportation channel, hosting inter-city passenger and goods transport.
The previous Punjab government, understanding this importance, had worked on widening the road by elimination of encroachments and rebuilding all deteriorating sections. The incumbent provincial government too had taken this project forward and made Ferozepur road a test case of ensuring good governance. The Lahore Transport Company (LTC) also employed mass funds and human resource in ensuring the optimum for the road.
The Punjab government’s plan to build the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), however, changed the whole picture. The well-built road was dug up in the middle, all the way from its start at the Qartaba Crossing to make way for the channel for the BRT. The digging up of the road started from its posterior end from Kahna Nau right up till the Kalma Chowk bridge. This resulted in narrowing of the road in both lanes which created sever bottlenecks at the Ghazi Road intersection, Ittefaq Hospital Crossing and all subsequent crossings that fall on the road. Hours and hours of traffic jams have become a regular feature on Ferozepur road. Now with the construction activity extending all the way to Qartaba Crossing, it is getting from bad to worse.
Another alarming fact is the hazard posted by the construction process and construction material.
The loose iron infrastructure protrudes dangerously towards the roadside in addition to the construction material piled in the fast lane. A number of commuters have got into accidents either trying to avoid these obstacles ending up crashing into another vehicle or bumping into the construction material itself.
This construction of BRT has forced redesigning of the over-head bridge at the Muslim Town Canal Underpass. This has lead to two fast lanes: One of the descending overhead bridge and the other of the lane coming under the bridge in the same direction. The lane below dangerously merges with the descending lane, and has already caused accidents.
The whole periphery of the road stays engulfed in dust all daylong, and most part of the night as well, which is a respiratory health hazard and causes increasing nuisance for the inhabitants of the area.
The TEPA spokesperson, commenting on the issue, said the construction activity was underway to provide better public transportation, terming it a key problem for the masses. He said any construction activity involved a certain amount of disturbance and all steps were being taken to minimize the (side) effects of the activity.