‘Revolutionary’ BRTS hindering traffic flow

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Construction work on the Metro Bus and the Kalma Chowk underpass is leading to massive traffic jams from Shahdara Morr to Azadi Chowk due to which citizens have to wait for hours to reach their destinations. Commuters were forced to take detours causing Mall Road, Lower Mall, Lawrence Road, Yadgar Chowk, Bhaati Chowk, Ferozepur Road and link roads to become clogged as well. The city traffic police has directed commuters to use alternate routes to reach their destinations while construction work on the Metro Bus is underway. About 1.5 million vehicles use the Kalma Chowk intersection daily and having to use alternate routes has invited the ire of many passengers. Environmental hazards are also linked with the project. Due to the construction, there is a lot of dust in the area and dust particles may cause chest congestion and flu. According to the CTO Capt (r) Sohail, the construction of two underpasses with several lanes simultaneously was a first in the city’s history. He said millions of citizens would avail the facility of signal-free journey after the completion of the underpass and the Metro Bus. The chief minister has directed the authorities concerned to make foolproof arrangements to keep the traffic flowing and increase the number of traffic wardens for the convenience of citizens during the development work. However, problems caused by the massive construction outweigh the potential benefits. A commuter, Fazal Hussain, complained, “The government is doing all this work without any proper planning, digging into every major road in the city. In every country, the government first offers an alternative plan to the masses before starting projects on this scale. Unfortunately, our governments do not think of public consensus.” Another motorist, Irfan Ali complained that his daily commute from Cantt to Model Town had become 10 times harder since construction of the underpass started.