Leave home early or miss flight
- Project including flyover near Bhatta Chowk started two years ago, still awaits completion
* Former RA information secretary says no steps taken despite PC-I completion
* DHA spokesman says authorities don’t pay attention to housing society’s requests
* C&W additional secretary says contractors working day and night to complete project
By Afnan Khan
LAHORE: The incomplete road leading to the Allama Iqbal International Airport through the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) is irking the citizens, as most of those wanting to fly abroad or to other cities in Pakistan either get late, or have to leave their houses several hours before the flight timings.
The authorities had also announced constructing a flyover near Bhatta Chowk to ensure the travellers did not get stuck in traffic in the area, but neither of the projects could be completed since their beginning two years ago. Development of a proper road to the airport as well as a flyover has been one of the top demands of the DHA residents. The project was proposed some five years ago, but it could not be executed, practically due to decisions regarding the expenditure.
No steps: The DHA Residents Association (RA) had also mentioned during a general meeting that both the construction projects remained significant for the members. Former RA information secretary Azam Nasir said the residents had been demanding the development of a flyover near the Bhatta Chowk area since five years. He said the DHA administration had also shown interest in developing the flyover, but no practical step could be taken despite the fact that the PC-I of the project was ready. Shahbaz Khan, a resident of DHA, said, “It has become really difficult to reach the airport in time due to the incomplete road and massive traffic, especially around the Bhatta Chowk area. We expect the government will finish the development work soon.”
He said the people had to leave way before the flight timings to reach the airport or they would get late. “The DHA administration is not paying heed to the requests to complete the projects.” Asma Usmani, another resident of the housing society, said people usually got late in catching flights as they had to use the underdeveloped road, which was very risky, especially at night due to poor visibility and non-functional traffic signals on the road. She said a number of accidents had taken place on the road due to the debris and raw material lying on it.
No attention: DHA spokesman Tajamul Hussain Anjum told Daily Times the authorities had requested the Communication and Works (C&W) Department many times to complete the road and other projects. “We have even requested them to let us take over the project, as we are capable of completing the road rapidly,” he said, adding that the authorities had never replied to the DHA over the requests.
All-out efforts: However, C&W Additional Secretary Shakeel Ahmad told Daily Times the department had been doing its best to complete the project as soon as possible, and different contractors were working day and night to complete the project.
He said the department had set December 2009 as the deadline for the completion of the southern side of the road, while the northern side would be completed afterwards. He also ruled out any possibility to hand over the project to any other department of the locality, and said all the work came under the category of the Ring Road project, and would be completed by the competent authorities.