MPA says construction of overhead bridge at Imamia Colony would soon be started
LAHORE: Entering Lahore for those travelling via the Grand Trunk Road (GT Road) has become a daunting task as traffic jams are now a routine at the Imamia Colony railway crossing – the first entry point of the metropolitan, Pakistan Today has observed.
Most of the times, it takes hours for the commuters coming from Gujrat, Sialkot, Wazirabad, Gujranwala, Kamoki and Muridke to cross a passage of just two kilometres at the Imamia Colony railway crossing that connects Lahore with other cities located on both sides of the GT Road due to the congestion of traffic. Thousands of people have to enter Lahore from this point because of their jobs and professional commitments, but they are stranded here while their precious time is wasted due to the traffic mess. Several ambulances carrying patients, who are referred to hospitals in Lahore from other cities, are also seen stuck in the congestion.
Amir Ali, a government servant, who travels from Muridke to Lahore on a daily basis, lamented the traffic congestion at the railway crossing while also suggesting an overhead bridge to ease the load of traffic at one of the busies entry points of the city.
“It takes two to three hours to reach Lahore during the peak hours, but one can easily cover this distance of only 30 kilometers in less than an hour at night when there is lesser traffic at the GT Road,” he said.
He added that the Imamia Colony is not just a single point that creates hindrance in the way of the commuters entering Lahore as one has to cross the Shahdara roundabout and the Ravi Bridge where the traffic moves at a snail’s pace due to congestion.
“This issue should be addressed on priority basis as hundreds of patients from adjacent cities of Lahore are referred to the metropolitan because of better healthcare facilities here and I regularly see ambulances stranded in the traffic mess at the Imamia Colony, Shahdara roundabout and the Ravi Bridge,” he said.
It is worth mentioning here that there are two routes to enter Lahore, one is the motorway and the other one is the GT Road. The GT Road route is more often used by the commuters due to its affordability as on the other hand, a heavy toll tax is to be paid while travelling via the motorway.
Arslan Haider, another commuter who enters Lahore on a daily basis from Ferozwala, told this scribe that it is the second consecutive term of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government in Punjab, but they could not make an overhead bridge at the Imamia Colony during the last ten years despite the fact that both the MNA and MPA of the constituency as well are enjoying their second consecutive stint in their offices. “The voters of the constituency from the Imamia Colony that falls in PP-164 are being fooled through false promises made again and again by the MPA and MNA. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had also promised to give us an overhead bridge during his last visit of the constituency in 2017 when he addressed a public gathering near the motorway,” he said.
When contacted, Pir Ashraf Rasool, MPA from PP-164, told Pakistan Today that it is true that an overhead bridge is direly needed at the Imamia Colony crossing to ease the flow of traffic at the GT Road and the paperwork is almost completed. The construction work for the project would be initiated in a month or two, he said.
“It would be a 1.708 km long overhead bridge having 6-lanes that will ensure a smooth flow of traffic and the commuters would not have to wait in long queues as the train would pass through the crossing without creating any hindrance in the way of traffic coming from the GT Road,” Rasool said, who has also served as the Union Council Nazim of the area back in 2001.
He further said that he along with his MNA Rana Tanveer Hussain, who is also a federal minister, is in contact with the National Highway Authority (NHA) Chairman for the project that would cost over 2 billion rupees. Citing the reason of the delay in the project, the MPA said that earlier the Punjab government had a plan to expand the Metro Bus Service to Muridke, but later it was put on hold and now the overhead bridge at the Imamia Colony would soon be built by the federal government.