Daily gridlocks make Islamabad Highway commuters’ nightmare

islamabad – The Gulberg bottleneck and incompetence of Islamabad Traffic Police are main causes behind the slow movement and frequent traffic jams on Islamabad Highway, The Nation observed.

Traffic jams on Islamabad Highway from DHA-Soan Garden to PWD-Korang Town has become a daily routine and the road-users have to wait for hours to travel a few kilometres even. The road has ten lanes up to Gulberg, but suddenly narrows down to four lanes, leading to severe traffic mess. Work on widening the road from Gulberg to Rawat has been stopped for unknown reasons, causing great inconvenience for the commuters.

On the other hand, heavy traffic is also a reason for the long queues of vehicles on the road during peak hours. A truck would not follow the lane, leaving the light vehicles with no option but to follow them at snail pace.

The ITP looks doing nothing to fix the situation as it they are apparently failing to implement the lane discipline and regulate heavy traffic on the road, suggests a survey of the road carried out by this scribe. The commuters have only two options; take alternate route or get stuck on the highway.

The residents of the adjoining areas also have to suffer as the traffic blockage at the main highway also leads to a mess on the arteries linked to it. The ITP has abandoned the road users at the mercy of the circumstances as far as movement of heavy traffic is concerned.

Talking to The Nation, Rana Tahir, who travels daily on the road, said that the bottleneck at Gulberg was causing traffic jams on the road, resulting in long queues. “The one-way road has around five lanes, each up to Gulberg, but after that, the traffic moves on two lanes only, which takes hours for the vehicles to queue up,” he explained.

He was of the view that mess at the said bottleneck was further causing a mess on the whole road.  He said that the heavy traffic also was a big cause behind blockage of the road. On Tuesday, the traffic remained block for at least seven hours and the road-users were seen in distress, he added.

Mustanser Ali, a daily commuter, told that heavy vehicles leave little space for the smaller vehicles. The trucks, particularly, would not follow the lane discipline, leading to slow traffic movement. He added that trucks are not allowed on the road till 9 am but once the heavy traffic is allowed, the movement gets slower, often resulting in jams.

“Sometime, all the three lanes are seen occupied by the trucks,” he lamented. The trucks should be banned on the road to improve the movement and prevent jams, he suggested. He also suggested adding a ring road to the highway to ease the traffic. 

When contacted, a spokesman for the ITP said that the traffic flow remained suspended on Tuesday due to a political rally. He said, otherwise, the ITP was efficient to regulate and maintain traffic flow on the city roads.

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