Delay in Kashmir Highway construction poses threats to commuters


The Capital Development Authority (CDA) chairman seems least interested in ensuring the timely completion of the Kashmir Highway project, which has almost come to a halt due to non provision of funds by the authority, Pakistan Today learnt.
The delay in construction of the Kashmir Highway has also been posing threats to the lives of those people who routinely travel on the under-construction Kashmir Highway.
According to sources, CDA has discontinued the funds for the construction project so the contractors have also slowed down the pace of the work. According to official CDA sources, less than half of the Kashmir Highway construction work has been done so far due to the lack of funds. Moreover, the developers have also been reluctant in continuing the work, causing delay in the mega project and nuisance to the commuters.
“Last week I was going to my home in Taxila when suddenly my cab went into a ditch on Kashmir highway, after which I lost control of my vehicle, which further hit a rock lying on the edge of the highway, resulting in great damage to my taxi,” said Ghulam Mahmood, a taxi driver. He said that his taxi was at the workshop and he had been unable to earn a livelihood for some days now , however what disturbed Mahmood the most was who was responsible for his loss.
Like the taxi driver, Ghulam Mahmood, there are many others who have been involved in similar incidents on the under-construction road, where many people have been injured and their vehicles damaged. However, the CDA has not taken any steps for the safety of the commuters and seems least bothered in expediting the construction work also. Therefore, the civic body’s negligence has been a cause of trouble to many commuters.
On Thursday night, another car faced a similar situation when the driver lost control of the vehicle and it hit a rock when passing by a CNG station on the highway. The police and emergency vehicles rushed to the spot. Fortunately, the driver’s life was safe, however the car was completely damaged.
Deep holes have been dug on the Kashmir Highway as part of the construction process, however the management has not placed any warning signs around such places, posing great risk to the commuters’ lives.
The Rs 3 billion dual carriageway project, under which the road will have five lanes on either side from Golra Mor to Peshawar Mor, is being constructed under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). The Kashmir Highway is being widened mainly to provide fast access to the new airport being established in Fateh Jang, around 30 kilometres from the capital.
Nevertheless, the negligence of some concerned officials of the authority has created a number of hurdles in the timely completion of the project. The officials of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the CDA have dubbed the highway project the “future lifeline” of Islamabad as it will provide new links between the capital and the new airport and the Lahore and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa motorways.
A wholesale market has also been proposed in Sangjani, near the new airport, for trade activities in the northern region and Punjab. Under the plan, an interchange will be constructed at the Kashmir Highway – GT Road junction to divert traffic from the Kashmir Highway to the motorway and GT Road.