Of Journalism

December 17, 2008

Lyari Expressway

Filed under: Uncategorized — fawadalishah @ 1:14 pm


Broken links along LEW endangering lives

* Fencing along southbound portion of Lyari Expressway torn down 
* Pedestrians cross busy road risking their lives

By Fawad Ali Shah

KARACHI: The southbound portion of the Lyari Expressway, only ten months after its inauguration, has fallen victim to theft and vandalism.

The Expressway had been fenced in order to prevent pedestrians and animals from crossing the road directly. However, unknown perpetrators have torn down the fence at various points, thereby allowing people and animals to cross the road. This poses a great risk as residents in the vicinity often trespass the broken fence to cross the busy road. 

In the absence of proper security measures children can be seen climbing up on the road to fly kites. The open spaces in the fence also invite stray dogs onto the road endangering the lives of oncoming traffic. A few months earlier, a child named Saad lost his life when he was crossing this road. 

There is heavy traffic on this road and according to National Highway Authority (NHA), more than 6,000 vehicles pass through this road on a daily basis. The authorities charge a toll tax ranging between Rs 15 to 25 per vehicle and collect Rs 4 million a month from these payments. The 16.5 kilometers long southbound portion of the expressway was entrusted to the NHA and was inaugurated by then President General Pervez Musharraf. The project after its inauguration in February 2007 also won much appreciation from the public.

The Lyari Expressway extends from Sohrab Goth to Mauripur and facilitates hundreds of port-bound vehicles to travel to upcountry areas through the Super Highway whilst avoiding passing through the city’s congested thoroughfares. However less than a year has passed by and the fencing along the road has been torn down at several points by offenders, presumably drug addicts. Also reflectors that were put up at certain places along the road to facilitate traffic have been stolen.

Muhammad Fareed, a resident of the Gulistan Colony, which lies parallel to the road, is unhappy with the conditions of the road. “We complained several times to the authorities to block the road so that children could not climb on to it,” he complained. Fareed says that the lack of proper security measures also attracts muggers, and authorities have yet to take notice. Fareed is concerned that the lack of security endangers the lives of his children as well as the oncoming traffic. 

Arman Khan, a resident of the Gulistan colony, that neighbours the road, points out towards the underpass beneath the road, saying that Union Council (UC) vehicles regularly deposits garbage there. “UC vehicles throw garbage in front of the underpass on a regular basis; we have no other option but to cross the road”. 

It may be pointed out here that lights on the Expressway are yet to be installed, adding to the problems being faced by travelers that pass through during the night. Motorway Police DSP Shahjehan Baloch says that the road passes through some dangerous parts of the city. “Our main concern is the enforcement of traffic laws” he said.

National Highway Authority Maintenance Project Director Noor Mustafa Sheikh on being asked about the torn fence said that the NHA is committed to filling all gaps. “We are trying to protect the road and repair the fences and we ask the people to cooperate with the NHA in order to make the road safer,” he said.

Lyari expressway ignored all the way

Lyari expressway ignored all the way


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