LAHORE - Faisal Town residents and TEPA authorities are at loggerheads over the 5 feet cut in the width of service road of under construction Maulana Shaukat Ali road. A number of dwellers residing alongside the Maulana Shaukat Ali road want TEPA to avoid shortening the size of service road. They complained that after the service road was undersized, they were in great trouble to get in and out of their vehicles from their residences. So much so, visitors of various commercial centres, shopping Malls and banquet halls have to park their cars on main road due to lack of space on service road, thus causing inconvenience in traffic flow. While TEPA authorities claim that they are not curtailing the width of service road rather road size gets squeezed at those places where people have encroached the road. They said that warning notices had been issued to encroachers and action to demolish the illegal construction would be taken after completion of the road. As per actual design of the road, service lane has 18 feet width from start to end of the road but it has been shortened to 10 to 15 feet on some portion of the service road. According to details, Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA) started the construction and remodeling of Maulana Shaukat Ali Road, one of the main arteries of the City connecting Canal Bank road with various residential societies, at an estimated cost of Rs 837.5 million. With the start of work, a controversy surfaced when some portion of the service road was reduced from 18 feet to 12 feet. People complained that 12 feet space was not sufficient to let vehicle pass. They said that due to the resultant situation, cars were being parked on the main road and in evening they covered almost half part of the main road leading to massive interruption in the flow of traffic. They also criticised the authorities that gutters had been left unattended at some places of newly constructed drain. These gutters started overflowing when it would rain, they feared. They flayed the slow pace of work on the under construction Maulana Shaukat Ali road. Heaps of construction material was lying every where. Clouds of dust remain floating in the air causing suffocation to passersby and residents of the area, they said. They said that new electricity polls were erected in the way on road that cars might hit them resulting in accidents. They demanded of the authorities concerned to intervene in the situation and redress their grievances. When TEPA official was contacted to seek his version, he responded that TEPA had to keep the width of service road to 18 feet but it could not do so as at some places, road was found encroached which led to its size curtailment. He said that people converted their residences into commercial buildings without taking permission from the department concerned. He said that they were bound to leave 20 feet in front of the building structure as per rules but they did not do so and caused road encroachment. He said that more than five complaints were received on Wednesday but Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had given clear instructions that every matter should be resolved on merit. He said that after the construction of road, TEPA would contact the LDA Town Planning Department to take appropriate action. It may be recalled that under the project, the road will be connected with Ferozepur Road near General Hospital. The project would be completed in one year. In the first phase, Maulana Shuakat Ali Road would be reconstructed from Canal Bank till Railway Line near PECO Factory. The six kilometer road will be expanded from 24 feet to 30 feet. Besides this, 18-feet wide service road will also be constructed on both sides of Maulana Shaukat Ali Road to facilitate the commercial and other traffic. Four of the bridges at this road will also be widened and footpath on the both sides for the road will be constructed. Forty feet high sodium lights will also be fixed on both sides of the road. In the second section of the project, a two-way underpass will be constructed under the railway lines near PECO Factory so that traffic can access Maulana Shuakat Ali Road and Kacha-link Jail Road. In the third section of the project, a new road will be constructed from Peco Factory to Ferozepur Road near Chaungi Amar Sidhu. Quarter of three kilometers lengthy new double road will be constructed besides electricity high tension lines. According to the project, 22-22 feet wide two roads will be constructed.