President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Shamim Ahmed Firpo has urged the authorities to speed up various ongoing infrastructure development projects pertaining to construction and rehabilitation of roads as the citizens have been facing immense hardships and constantly complaining about severe traffic jams at some of the busiest roads of Karachi. In a statement issued, Shamim Firpo said that the business and industrial community warmly welcomes Sindh government’s willingness to improve the road infrastructure of Karachi which was in an extremely dilapidated state but this development work should be carried out in a more organized manner with proper provision of alternate routes, availability of traffic officials all the time to ensure smooth flow of traffic and completion within the minimum possible time by utilizing all available resources.
Referring to construction work for Green Line Project by Federal Government, followed by rehabilitation and reconstruction of Tariq Road and University Road along with remodeling of Baloch Colony Flyover, President KCCI stated that Karachiites have been suffering badly every day due to development work at all these roads. The development work at these roads commenced simultaneously without provision of proper alternate routes/ diversions, which causes severe traffic jams not only at these four roads but also at many other localities in different parts of the city, he added.
He said that each day, almost 3.5 million vehicles move on the streets of Karachi including the hardly available and very narrow alternate arteries near the sites of development projects. With a limited number of just 3200 traffic police officers responsible for controlling the rising traffic of entire Karachi, driving on the streets has become a nightmare for the citizens and it gets worst when the commuters become victims of street crimes. The traffic gridlocks at some of the busiest roads of Karachi provide a perfect opportunity to easily deprive the clogged commuters from cash and valuables which also requires attention, he added.
Shamim Firpo opined that instead of simultaneously initiating development work at some of the key roads of the city, the authorities should have taken up these projects one-by-one, which would have resulted in swift completion of these projects and created minimum problems for the citizens. “Engaging the entire development machinery and workforce on any single project and continuation of development work round the clock would have been a wiser move, creating meager and tolerable problems for commuters”, he added.
Appreciating the joint review of the development projects by Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah and Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar who toured numerous sites on Sunday, President KCCI said that it was a positive omen which clearly indicates their seriousness towards resolving the issues of Karachi but they must devise an effective strategy to complete all these projects at the earliest otherwise the public may lose patience and come out on the streets to protest.
Shamim Firpo further noted that the construction work for Green Line Project, which was initiated by the Federal government almost a year ago, was also moving at a snail’s pace. Consequently, the commuters plying the 20-km long road have to face serious problems due to constant traffic jams whereas the standstill water at some spots, which is caused either due to chocked sewerage line or because of wrecked pipeline, further aggravates the hardships.
He was of the opinion that if the development work for Green Line Project continues to move on at the same slow pace, it may require one more year or may be more than that to reach completion.
Shamim Firpo advised the authorities to take notice of the entire traffic flow situation of Karachi and devise an effective strategy to provide some sigh of relief to the perturbed citizens, besides ensuring round the clock continuation of development work so that the Karachiites could be hopeful about completion of these projects in near future.