Livelihoods fall victim to unplanned urbanization


Shopkeepers, traders and residents have expressed grave concern over the diversion of traffic from the Benazir Bhutto Road (BBR) due to the construction of the Sixth Road flyover project.
The administration had blocked the road from Rehmanabad to Double Road that had affected the business activities in the shopping malls and plazas on both sides of the road.
While talking to agencies, the shopkeepers said that the mega project costing Rs1.88 billion would definitely benefit the masses but the administration should have taken the traders in confidence before starting the project as their income had come down to near zero. They said shoppers could not reach the shops due to severe traffic gridlocks and preferred to go to other shopping centers in the city.
The shopping malls affected by the project included Dubai Plaza, Midway Centre, Aladdin Plaza, Rabi Centre, Gulf Centre, Royal Centre etc. The shopkeepers of the plazas said that the items in their shops would be out-fashioned after three months and could not be sold which would cause losses of millions of rupees to them.
Chairman of the market committee of the area Habib Noor said that hundreds of daily wagers were working in the plazas and they would go unemployed due a halt in the business activity in the area.
Meanwhile, president of the traders union of Rabi Centre Muhammad Ibrahim said that the time between Ramazan and Eid-ul-Azha was the peak time for business and they waited for the three months during the whole year. The blockage of the BBR had ruined their business season which had caused heavy losses to them, he added.
When contacted, the city traffic police said that the department devised a traffic plan for the convenience of the commuters during the construction period of the flyover. He said 282 wardens and eight inspectors had been deployed in the area to control traffic, while four fork lifters would also be present to remove any hurdle in the way of the vehicles.
The traffic police spokesman said that the citizens could come to the area without any fear of the traffic mess as alternative routes had been announced, while the BBR had been blocked from the Cricket Stadium Road to Chandni Chowk.
Direction boards and banners, and no parking boards were being installed in the area for the benefit of the citizens, the police informed, while appealing to the transporters and the residents to cooperate with them to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.