Shah Faisal-Korangi Bridge

Heading nowhere?

* Slow work on Shah Faisal-Korangi bridge irks commuters


By Jamil Khan | KARACHI


COMMUTERS are greatly irked by the slow construction work of the Shah Faisal-Korangi bridge, forcing them to use the road between Shah Faisal Colony and the Korangi Industrial Area, as an alternate route. The fact that this road too is in an extremely dilapidated condition only adds to their frustration.

The Shah Faisal-Korangi bridge project, initiated in June 2005, is worth Rs 1.5 billion and is one of the biggest projects of the Tameer-e-Karachi Programbridge-9 (TKP). The project, which is being financed by the federal government and is being supervised by the CDGK Works and Services Department, was supposed to be completed within two years but still more than 20 percent of the work remains incomplete. The total length of the bridge is five kilometres, out of which, the 1.5 km link bridge connecting the two banks of the Malir River has been completed.

The aim of this project is to provide easy access to Shah Faisal Colony and the Korangi and Landhi Industrial areas. A major reason for the project’s delay was the refusal of residents being displaced due to the project to vacate the area, as they were dissatisfied with the minimal compensation being paid by the CDGK.

“The city government allocated a total of Rs 15.7 million and also provided the people with alternate plots but they were demanding compensation at the market value, which was not possible,” said a Revenue Department official. He said that a house constructed on a 120-yard plot in the locality is worth Rs 7-9 million but the city government wanted to pay less than the evaluated price and their were drawn out negotiations between the people and the government.

“City Nazim Mustafa Kamal visited the area twice and convinced the residents to take the compensation and there are only two houses remaining, as their owners have obtained stay orders,” he said.

The official mentioned that the people who vacated their houses that were in the way of the Shah Faisal loop have been allotted alternate plots of various measurements in Korangi and have been paid compensation as per the market value.

Consultant firm engineer Mubeen Ahmed, working on this project for the last three years, told Daily Times that the project was delayed due to encroachments on both sides of the bridge. “The city government spent the last year convincing people to vacate their legal and illegal houses so that work on the bridge may continue. Dozens of houses and shops on the Korangi side were vacated last year and, though, the road connecting the bridge and the industrial area has been completed, work on the Shah Faisal side is still ongoing,” he said.

The installation of storm water drains on both sides of the road that approaches from the Malir River and goes to the Shama Shopping Center in Shah Faisal Colony No 3, has also been started and once it is completed, the carpeting of the road will be initiated, said Ahmed.

Motorcyclists can now use the completed section of the bridge that is not open to vehicular traffic and can avoid the deteriorated alternate route. On the other hand, a majority of the cargo carriers still use the alternate road, as it is the only shortcut to the Korangi industrial area.

“We prefer using the bumpy road as compared to the properly built ones of Quaidabad, Landhi and the Baloch Colony bridge on Shahrah-e-Faisal, as it saves us time and fuel,” said pick-up truck driver Ayaz Nadeem.

– Published in Daily Times | Nov 9, 2008

~ by jamilkhan on November 11, 2008.

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