July 06 - 12, 2009

One of Karachi's most contentious issues had been worst traffic jams. It was due to a combination of a number of factors that included narrow roads and their dilapidated conditions, too many crossings and above all encroachments. While the traffic flow has become smooth after the construction of flyovers and underpasses, a number of chokepoints have also emerged. Unless these chokepoints are cleaned, benefits from billions of rupees investment just cannot be obtained.

Undertaking of these mega projects and their completion in record time deserves the highest appreciation. However, it has also put tremendous responsibility on the shoulders of the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) and the citizens to save these assets. It is true that CDGK is responsible for looking after and maintaining these assets the job cannot be accomplished without the cooperation of other utility companies i.e. telephone, gas, electricity, water, sewerage. It is also important to point out that signs of wear and tear have already started appearing and if immediate measures are not undertaken the damage could become irreparable.

Two of the projects deserve special reference. The first one is Signal Free Corridor-1 from Airport to S.I.T.E. with three flyovers and three underpasses costing 200 million rupees. The completion of this corridor has brought an end to 50 years problems. The 10.5 kilometer long signal free corridor has been completed in around seven months, a record time. During the construction, several utility providing organization lines were re-established. Nazim Karachi on the eve of the inauguration ceremony of the project congratulated the resident of Karachi saying that is a new vision, which will not only solve traffic problems but will usher in new era of prosperity.

The mega project in fact comprised of several subsidiary projects.

1. The first project was Karsaz Shahra-e-Faisal flyover on which work commenced in October 2006. A 1100 meters long rain water sewerage line, 56 electric poles, 1200 Cat eyes and 3300 meters Lane Marking are its salient features.

2. Work on the second project, National Stadium flyover was completed by November 2006. This flyover is 760 meters long out of which 210 meters is its bridge part. A 2090 meters long rain water sewerage line, 175 electric poles and 9875 meters Lane Marking are its salient features.

3. The third project of Hassan Square flyover was completed in December 2006 and was opened for traffic. This flyover was completed in 4 months which is a record completion time in any developmental project in the history of Pakistan. This three Lane flyover has 550 meters long rainwater sewerage lines.

4. The fourth project of Gharibabad underpass has cost 135 million rupees and was completed in 12 months. It is 560 meters long with width of 10.90 meters comprising of three Lanes with 68 electric poles.

5. The fifth project of Liaquatabd underpass, costing 350 million rupees was completed in eight months. It has 668 meters long underpass bridge with width of 10.40 meters with 5.50 meters service road. It has 4500 meters long rainwater sewerage line on both sides with 2000-meter sewerage line for rainwater and has 75 electric poles.

6. The sixth project of Nazimabad underpass, costing 367 million rupees is 750 meters long and 10.40 meters wide has 3-lane road comprising of 1500 meters long sewerage line for rainwater.

7. It also includes seven pedestrian bridges.

CDGK plans to construct more than six flyovers and 'U' turns at Sharah-e-Faisal to make this busiest road signal free from Airport to Jinnah Bridge. The proposed fourth signal free corridor of the city would cost Rs2.9billion for which necessary amount had already been allocated in the next budget. CDGK has completed the survey of the corridor and development work on this project will begin soon. Instructions have been issued to start work on the preliminary formalities immediately so that development work on this project could begin as soon as possible.

According to the plan, a right turn flyover will be constructed near FTC flyover so that the traffic from Airport to Saddar area could use it while a 2-lane flyover will be constructed from Lucky Star to Jinnah Hospital to reduce the rush at the signal. A two-lane flyover each will be constructed at Metropole Hotel, Hotel Mehran and PIDC Roundabout to facilitate traffic running from Metropole Hotel to Saddar Cantt, Clifton to Saddar area, and Saddar to PIDC respectively. Besides traffic management rules will be applied at other places of Shahrah-e-Faisal to make it signal free from Airport to Jinnah Bridge at PIDC.

Construction of new roads, repair, improvement and re-carpeting of dilapidated roads, flyovers and underpasses have improved traffic flow. This has not only curtailed the traveling time but are also saving millions of dollars fuel and also reduced emission of toxic gases.