LAHORE: Digging and closure of roads due to construction work for the Metro Bus Service (MBS) has become a source of trouble and nuisance for citizens as the government has failed to provide an alternate traffic plan.
Most of the busy roads have been dug up due to the construction of this bus project, which is to be built from Gajju Matta to Shahdara. The work is causing problems for motorists, commuters and pedestrians in the congested areas of the city.
On the other hand, despite its claims the city government has not succeeded in completely removing encroachments along roads, which is resulting in a traffic mess.
The most affected areas include Ichhra, Shama, Lytton Road, Chauburji, Jain Mandir, Islampura, Rajgarh, Mozang, Bhaati, Data Darbar and Ravi Road. Frequent traffic jams are witnessed in these areas and during office and school time it is difficult to reach even the nearest destination. Monsoon rains, poor drainage and sewerage system are adding to people’s woes.
Citizens complained that due to this single project, traffic across the city has been disturbed.
A motorist, Malik Israr, said that it took more than an hour to reach even the nearest destination. “It is very difficult for motorists and pedestrians to move on these roads during rains,” he added. Due to heavy rains in the city, the dug up roads have become little ponds of water, providing breeding places to dengue mosquitoes.
“The Punjab government’s campaign against dengue will not yield results unless this problem is solved,” said a citizen.
Lahore DCO Noorul Amin Mengal has said that the government is doing its best to help citizens and has made arrangements for ensuring alternate routes where development projects are ongoing. However, he said, for any development work in an area, people had to suffer and face inconvenience.Hearing a petition regarding the MBS, the Lahore High Court has also directed the Traffic Engineering and Transport Planning Agency (TEPA) and city traffic police to ensure availability of at least one exclusive lane for ambulances at all roads leading to the government hospitals.
According to the first deadline given by the government, the MBS project on Ferozepur Road (from Kalma Chowk to Gajju Matta) should be completed by April; from Gajju Matta to Bhaati Chowk by October, and from Gajju Matta to Shahdara by December. But keeping in view the pace of work, it seems the project will take more time.