The district government has formally approved a project to remodel MM Alam Road (the near three kilometre stretch of road from Firdous Market to Main Market Gulberg), at a projected cost of Rs 133.35 million.

This decision was taken on Thursday in a meeting chaired by District Nazim Mian Amer Mehmood and attended by Lahore District Coordination Officer Mian Ejaz and officials from the Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA), Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) and other provincial and federal government departments.

According to the proposed remodelling plan, MM Alam Road will be a dual carriageway with three lanes on either side. To facilitate the swift drainage of rainwater that accumulates on the road during the monsoon, a new drainage system will also be laid and traffic signals will be installed at major intersections. Officials said that international-standard sodium streetlights would be installed along the road and a sidewalk would be constructed all along the road.

As part of the remodelling plan, it was also decided that the electricity lines along the road would be shifted closer to the houses and business establishments and temporary alternative arrangements would be made for the underground phone, gas and sewage systems over four months.

However district government sources said that just shifting the utility services alone would take at least six months.

Property prices on MM Alam Road have skyrocketed in recent years and are almost as high as the prices of properties on the Gulberg Main Boulevard.

This is mainly because of the status MM Alam Road now enjoys as a major culinary and commercial hub of Lahore, with some of the city”s choicest restaurants and shops located there. So it is no surprise that very few plots or houses are available for residential purposes. An area controlled by the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), MM Alam Road had long been plagued by traffic congestion, a bad sewage system and unchecked commercial development.

Mubarak Ali, a resident of Javed Iqbal Road, near the under-construction IMAX Theatre said that it was nearly impossible to negotiate MM Alam Road between 1pm and 3pm, since so many private schools closed at that time, and there were several of those on MM Alam Road. In addition to schoolchildren, restaurant-goers who come for lunch added to the chaos.

About unplanned commercial growth on the road, Hussain Chowk resident Yasir said that residential units had been turned into hotels and schools when they were clearly not meant for those purposes.

Traffic police officials are also absent from the road most of the time, leaving the stuck motorists to fend for themselves. “Once a fortnight, a policeman will come along and direct traffic when the situation gets really bad,” said a shopkeeper.
Source: Daily Times