While commuters fear the worst scenes of traffic congestion, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has been persistent with its plans to construct an underpass near Hotel Mehran supposedly to remove one of the last major bottlenecks in the flow of traffic on Sharea Faisal.
In this connection, a meeting was held at the KMC head offices on Monday to review the preparatory work to start construction of the underpass near Hotel Mehran in the near future.Speaking at the meeting, KMC Administrator Muhammad Hussain Syed directed the municipal officials concerned to immediately start shifting of the underground utility lines at the proposed site of Hotel Mehran Underpass on Dr Daud Pota Road so that construction work on this project could be initiated.
He also instructed the concerned departments to re-organise the traffic management plan for vehicles passing through the proposed site of this underpass at Sharea Faisal.
The meeting decided that first, only a single track of Sharea Faisal would be closed for traffic to carry out the construction work for the Hotel Mehran Underpass while the second track of Sharea Faisal would remain open for traffic.
The KMC chief said that the work on this project must continue on round-the-clock basis and during the holidays so that a portion of this project could be completed in two to two and a half month’s time.
He said that the shifting of water and sewerage pipelines beneath the site of the project was very important and needed some time to complete the task hence the work on it must begin immediately.
DIG Traffic Khurram Gulzar, who especially attended the meeting, said that the Sharea Faisal catered to a lot of vehicular traffic pressure and its closure for traffic would cause serious trouble to the commuters. The traffic diversion plan must therefore be prepared in such a way that the other linking roads should not be affected during the work on this project.
The administrator Karachi said that Karachi was the only city of the world where no mass transit system existed and this situation led to traffic-related problems. The shortage of public transport was also a reason of increase in the private vehicles plying on roads.
It was suggested at the meeting that construction works related to Hotel Mehran Underpass and Shaheen Complex flyover would not commence simultaneously in order to avoid serious traffic jam on roads of downtown areas of the city.
Syed said that the shifting of water, sewerage, telephone and gas supply lines should begin in the first place whereas work on the second track of underpass at Hotel Mehran would be carried out after the completion of the first track of this project.
He further said that the funds were available for shifting of the utility lines and the construction of the proposed flyover and underpass. Citizens would have to face some problems for a while but eventually they would get better travel facilities after the completion of these projects.
The meeting was also attended by Commissioner Matanat Ali Khan, D.G Technical Services Altaf G. Memon, Dy Commissioner South Mustafa Jamal Qazi, Deputy-Commissioner Central Dr Saif-ur-Rehman, concerned engineers, project directors, consultants and other officers.