ISLAMABAD: Sensing massive load of traffic on Islamabad Highway and other roads, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has asked National Highway Authority (NHA) not to link the proposed Kharian-Rawalpindi Motorway (KRM) at T. Chowk Rawat junction of GT Road.

“Intercity traffic from Sialkot, Lahore, Kharian etc., going to Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), northern areas, Murree and Kashmir will directly enter Islamabad via Islamabad Highway and its direct link with KRMP will increase traffic load on the highway,” read a letter from the CDA.

The letter dated September 8 was sent to the project director KRM of the NHA. Sources in the NHA confirmed that the CDA had sent them a letter in this regard. The CDA advised the NHA to link the KRM with the proposed Rawalpindi Ring Road.

CDA officials Dawn spoke to added that Islamabad Highway already catered to both local and heavy traffic, particularly between Islamabad and Lahore. They said the highway was also an important link between Punjab, Azad Kashmir and KP as it connects GT Road at Rawat.

Linking Kharian-Rawalpindi Motorway at T. Chowk Rawat will further add to traffic load on highway, CDA’s letter says

Moreover, a large number of housing societies are located at its length and every day thousands of vehicles enter Islamabad, making the highly too busy.

The highway frequently faces traffic congestion particularly from its Koral to GT Road portion. Currently, the CDA through Frontier Work Organisation (FWO) is carrying out its expansion till GT Road under a project worth Rs11 billion.

The officials said if KRM got a link at T. Chowk, not only Islamabad Highway but other roads of the capital will also face extra load of traffic.

The CDA’s letter said: “The proposed alignment up to the extent of ICT has been examined and observed that the alignment of the KRMP passes through Zone-5 of Islamabad and intersects Islamabad Highway at T-Chowk Rawat junction with GT Road Zone-5 allocated for private housing schemes. The proposed alignment of KRMP passes over one approved housing scheme. Furthermore, the addition of a motorway in Islamabad will need a change to the master plan of the city which will require approval of the federal government.”

It added: “Intercity traffic from Sialkot, Lahore, Kharian etc., going to Peshawar, northern areas, Murree and Kashmir will directly enter Islamabad city.”

It added: “Islamabad Highway is an urban road and direct link of KRM with it will increase traffic load it. The government of Punjab has planned a Ring Road around Rawalpindi which will touch GT Road near Rawat Radio Transceiver Station in Rawalpindi. This will connect GT Road with M-I. Here CDA has also planned a bypass which will link GT Road with Murree Road. From this point, the traffic bound to KP, northern areas, Peshawar, Murree and Kashmir will be diverted to the Ring Road and bypass the capital city.”

“In view of the position explained above, it is requested that NHA my link the proposed motorway with GT Road at the intersection of Rawalpindi Ring Road. It will neither require an amendment to the master plan of Islamabad nor create any traffic hazard for the twin cities,” the letter added.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2022

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