FRONTIER Works Organisation (FWO) has completed almost 90 per cent road construction work under its Lahore Road Rehabilitation Project, Phase II (LRRP-II) especially in various localities of North Lahore.
In September 2008, the Punjab government had called the FWO for the LRRP-II which included renovation of roads throughout the city, construction of Shalimar Interchange, various roads in Walled City, Data Nagar, Misri Shah, Township, Johar Town, Sabzazar Housing Scheme, Allama Iqbal Town, Faisal Town, Garden Town and Model Town Extension.
North Lahore is termed the most neglected side of the provincial capital with two most important localities Data Nagar and Misri Shah. Both the areas steel furnaces, steel re-rolling mills, scrap godowns, cold storages and several other industries.
Following the heavy load of the commercial and industrial traffic, roads of these localities were in a pathetic condition and their durability was always a big question for the authorities. Under the LRRP-II, the FWO has to construct 17 roads in Misri Shah and eight in Data Nagar. In Misri Shah, three out of the 17 roads were of reinforced cement concrete (RCC) whereas remaining roads were of asphalt (Black Top) type while all the eight roads of Data Nagar were RCC.
FWO officials said most of these roads were in bad shape due to the heavy use by pedestrians and vehicular traffic. Exposure to water and moisture had been another damaging factor as most of the area remains flooded after the rains, which was highly damaging for the city’s internal roads having no proper rain and sewerage outlets.
Ghorey Shah Road and Katcha Rahim Road (Misri Shah) and PECO Road Railway Godown and Elahi Buksh Road (Data Nagar) were in extremely dilapidated condition.
After the general elections the neglected area of North Lahore has again come to the limelight of the government, which put it on top of its priority list for road construction, PWO officials said. However, the plans for these roads were though initiated in Feb 2009 but the imposition of Governor’s Rule placed the plans in suspension and final go ahead was given to the FWO by the government in mid April.
Lt Col Farrukh Rashid while talking with The News said building roads inside the City’s congested areas was difficult due to the rush and narrow passages, which impeded the movement of the material, machinery and the workforce. He said encroachments in the already narrow streets increased problems. “Another practical problem is unexpected underground situation about the sewerage and services (Sui gas, water and cable connections etc) as what lied beneath the surface remains a mystery unless the road is dug up,” he maintained. He said despite all these problems, the FWO managed to complete its task within the given time.
To overcome local problems, the FWO adopted an innovative idea and constituted committees of residents of various roads so that they could help the workers in clearing the roads from traffic, encroachments and other problems. The committees also proved to be a check on the contractors and workers too, he said adding that the residents played a positive role in achieving the targets.