ISLAMABAD – Gridlocks, encroachments and constriction of footpaths by the vendors in most of the commercial areas of the city are annoying the shoppers and the road users.

Shopkeepers of Raja Bazaar, Mochi Bazaar, Trunk Bazaar, Commercial Market, China Market, Saddar Bazaar, Tench Bhatta Bazaar and other areas have given footpaths and roads in front of their shops to small vendors and hand-cart merchants on lease, encroaching the areas specified for the pedestrians.

These encroachments are creating problems for the shoppers and pedestrians and they are always on the risk falling prey to an accident, as they have to walk on the roads. The authorities concerned are not taking any action against the encroachers for some reasons best known to them.

Moreover, the shopkeepers in the bazaars of the city, including Raja Bazaar, Circular Road, Iqbal Road, Dhok Khabba Road and Kuri Road have also occupied footpaths in front of their shops and the TMA Rawal Town staff is allegedly backing it. Story of Commercial Market is also not different as smooth flow of traffic is not possible there due the presence of handcart vendors.

Furthermore, the encroachers are also occupying parking spaces and the motorists have to park their vehicles on the road, creating traffic mess and inconvenience for the shoppers and traffic police alike.

Besides, motorcycle workshops have grabbed parts of BB Road near Liaquat Bagh and Committee Chowk and the police are further adding to the traffic crisis by placing barriers on the road. The encroachments on Cricket Stadium Road are also putting question mark on the performance of the city administration.

The shoppers and motorists demanded of the authorities concerned to take notice of the situation and launch an operation against the encroachers.

Utility services hinder work on 6th Road flyover

Meanwhile, the utility services on the Sixth Road flyover project are causing hindrance in initiation of the mega project expected to resolve the traffic problems.

Sources said that Punjab Highways Department would pay Rs32 million to WAPDA, Rs25 million to Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) and Rs8.3 million to NTC for the shifting of the utility services away from the construction site.

The utility services include 36-inch diameter water supply line from Rawal Dam, 24-inch diameter water supply line from Khanpur Dam, PTCL exchange network and electricity lines of 13 feeders of WAPDA.

Construction experts have been facing problems in shifting utility services, which cause nuisance in the initiation of work at the construction site. However, 10 piles were dug up for the construction of ramp of flyover.

A survey was conducted for the shifting of utility services of WAPDA services, water supply lines, and optical fibre link the other day.

Sources said that Sui gas department has given demand notice of Rs15 million for the shifting of its utility services. Moreover, other departments have also submitted their demand notices for the purpose.

It should be mentioned here that the 248-meter long bridge with 202-meter ramp, Sixth Road flyover is expected to be completed in 90 days and will cost Rs820 million. Engineers believe that it would significantly resolve traffic issue besides adding to the beauty of the city.