ISLAMABAD - A four-hour ban on heavy traffic on Islamabad Expressway to ensure hassle-free mobility of motorists is not yielding desired results as the daily traffic clogs continue to test the nerves of routine commuters.

The en-route travelers constantly struggling hard to reach their destinations, especially during peak hours, on Monday passionately called for expansion of the city’s one of the busiest arteries, terming the strategy of local administration a futile effort.

A traffic warden of Islamabad Traffic Police deputed at Gulberg Bridge requesting anonymity said that the administration had come up with the plan of stopping entry of heavy vehicles on Expressway during the peak hours from 7 am to 9 am and 5 pm to 7 pm to mitigate sufferings of commuters but it could not resolve the situation as the traffic flow had grown seven times in the last decade. As many as two ITP’s vehicles and five policemen on bikes patrol this stretch of the Expressway from 7 am to 6 pm, complaining lack of resources with the force to overcome various traffic related issues.

The Islamabad Expressway – a 27-kilometer-long road connecting more than a quarter million people living in Zone-V which include housing societies like PWD, Bahria Town, Police Foundation, Korang Town, Soan Garden, Naval Anchorage DHA-II, Doctor Society and Media Town requires urgent reinforcement of more traffic sergeants, the official insisted.

Asghar, a commuter travelling from Zero Point to DHA, said that regular traffic woes on this route and hours-long traffic jams were not only a wastage of precious time but also put extra burden on the commuters’ pockets due to fuel consumption.

He said that despite a blanket ban was imposed on heavy vehicles; the citizens were still facing chronic congestions.

An official of Capital Development Authority said that the route claimed to be a signal-free facility by 2017 seems to remain a quagmire for daily commuters even in 2018. He said that the signal-free corridor from Zero Point to Rawat was required to be completed as early as possible to get rid of this daily suffering. The official said that as per the plan, existing four lanes from Koral to Naval Anchorage will be converted to eight. The work from Koral to Rawat T-Chwok would be carried out in two phases.

An official of Islamabad Traffic Police said that unruly traffic on this section is a routine matter as the quarters concerned could not complete the signal-free 10-lane corridor from Zero Point to Rawat.

The ITP, he said, has deputed two inspectors and 8 officials on this route, working round the clock for the ease of road-users.

A traffic sergeant at PWD stop said that two narrow bridges and a couple of U-turns on this passage were major reasons of daily gridlocks on this heavily burdened artery.