Islamabad - Owing to lack of planning, the under-construction Metro Bus track for Islamabad International Airport will bring inconvenience to thousands of people, particularly those settling along the track from Golra Morr to the airport. The faulty design of the metro track, according to CDA officials, has left no option of U-turns for residents of the five sectors along the road leading to the new airport.

They said the metro track will not affect U-Turns where principal roads intersect Kashmir Highway from Peshawar Morr to Golra Morr as the track will pass there through the trenches. “The track from Peshawar Morr to Golra Morr would pass the intersecting points through trenches but once it passes the Golra Morr, it comes in the middle of the road, according to the design of the project,” explained an official at CDA.

Estimated at around Rs 20 billion, the total length of Metro Bus Track from Peshawar Morr to New Islamabad International Airport is 25.6 km and is divided into four packages.

 Length of the first package from Peshawar Morr to Golra Morr is 8km, while the second Package up to G.T Road Interchange is 3.8 km. The third package up to M-1/M-2 interchange is 8.3 km long, whereas the last package up to New Islamabad International Airport is 5.5km long.

The track would comprise four interchanges; one at Golra Morr, the other at N-5 Interchange and then at M-1/M-2 Interchange and the Top City Interchange. “Practically speaking, there will be only three points to take a U-Turn through interchanges on a 17.6km length road which will cause inconvenience for the commuters,” said a CDA official. He said the track would be fenced on both sides so as to restrict movement of pedestrians across the road.

“On average, a road-user will find each U-Turn after a distance of 4-kilometer on the road from Golra Morr up to the airport,” He feared that the design of the road would affect connectivity between South and North sides of the Kashmir Highway and the travelers would have to cover a long distance to take a U-Turn. The project, likely to be completed by November 15, 2017, will have 14 bus stops, 11 underpasses and 12 bridges on the track.

The officials at CDA said that the civic agency had written to the NHA about the foreseen complications in March 2017 but the NHA paid no heed to it. “We pointed out the flaws in the design of the metro track and expressed our concern in March 2017 followed by a few reminders but NHA did not move,” said the officials.

According to a letter written by CDA to NHA in March 2017, CDA had requested NHA to provide underpasses on all the principal roads. It was decided by the CDA officials that NHA should at least provide underpasses on 13th, 16th and 17th avenues. The CDA officials said that NHA ignored the apprehensions, as it wanted to complete the project as soon as possible. They also explained that there is no possibility of constructing 14th and 15th avenues as CMT is a hurdle in the construction of possible 14th Avenue while G T Road lies on the place of possible 15thAvenue.

When contacted, a spokesman of the NHA said that it was decided in April that the metro track would pass the principal roads intersecting Kashmir Highway through underpasses. He said NHA would also construct a full-fledged interchange at Golra Morr which will have underpasses and flyover. He was of the view that there is no flaw in the design of the project.