Under-construction flyover in conflict with mass transit plan
KARACHI, Nov 20: The Karachi Mass Transit Cell has opposed the construction of a flyover by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) at Dakkhana, arguing that it is in conflict with the mass transit plan, it emerged on Tuesday.
Sources said the KMC had not obtained a no-objection certificate from the KMTC for its flyovers which according to KMC administrator’s directives must have been obtained before initiating work on the flyovers.
Work on the flyovers is under way.
While KMTC chief Rasheed Mughal said it was an ‘in-house issue’ and would be sorted out within the KMC, he confirmed to Dawn that neither the NOC had been applied for nor the KMTC issued one. He also agreed that the Dakkhana flyover was being built at a location where one of the mass transit corridors had been planned.
The sources said that the KMC was constructing four flyovers –– at the Water Pump crossroads, Ayesha Manzil intersection, Dakkhana and Teen Hatti –– to make Shahrah-i-Pakistan a signal-free corridor so that traffic could move unhindered from Sohrab Goth to Guru Mandir. The work on the project is going on round the clock and is expected to be completed within a few months.
They said that the KMC had not even got the environmental impact assessment of the under-construction flyovers approved from the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa), which was mandatory under the law. They added that no project could be initiated unless its environmental impact assessment had been approved by Sepa.
The KMTC wrote the first letter on July 23 to the NAA Consulting Engineers, which is associated with the flyovers project, stating that in the final draft report of Japan International Cooperation Agency for a study of proposed Karachi Transport Improvement Project, “Blue Line MRT (rail-based) corridor has been proposed from Tower to the Superhighway for which space between flyover carriageway must be provided as the same has been provided at Sohrab Goth, NIPA and Millennium Mall flyover carriageways. This space must be provided in all the flyover carriageways coming in to this Blue Line MRT (rail-based) corridor.”
Again on Sept 17, the sources said, the KMTC wrote to the NAACE on the subject of ‘space between flyover carriageways at three flyovers on Shahrah-i-Pakistan and S. M. Taufiq road corridor’. The communication says: “The final draft report of JICA for the study of Karachi Transportation Improvement Project (KTIP), where JICA proposed MRT (rail based) Blue Line from Tower to Superhighway via Water Pump, Ayesha Manzil, Dakkhana, and Teen Hatti.
“You are therefore advised to please keep in consideration the pre-feasibility study of Blue Line submitted by JICA in its Draft Final report of KTIP during the planning and designing of flyovers, underpasses, overhead pedestrian bridge so on so forth along the proposed MRT Blue Line.”
The sources said that finally the KMTC wrote a letter on Oct 14, the latest on the subject. It said: “In continuation in to our earlier letters (dated July 23, 2012 and Sept 17, 2012) followed by a detailed meeting of KMTC director general (Rasheed Mughal) with you (NAACE chief Nadeem Ansari) on Sept 18, 2012 in your office in which he (Mr Mughal) had shown serious concerns about the designing and implementation of Dakkhana flyover in conflict with pre-feasibility of MRT Blue Line (Superhighway to Tower) proposed by JICA in its KTIP study, you are requested to kindly intimate the latest status to this effect.”
The sources said that a notification issued by the KMC administrator on Jan 4 required that an NOC be obtained from the KMTC before initiating a project along its various proposed corridors. The notification (Secy/Admtr/KMC/2012/200) states: “JICA team in accordance with the joint agreement with Government of Pakistan, Government of Sindh and CDGK (defunct) / KMC has been conducting study for Karachi Transportation Project 2030 Vision under JICA grant-in-aid.
“The first phase of the study was preparation of Karachi Transport Master Plan which has been completed by the JICA study team in June 2010. The work on second phase for preparation of Feasibility Study for Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) / Light Rail Transit (LRT) on different priority corridors is in progress.
“In order to ensure provision of space for the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) / Light Rail Transit (LRT), it is imperative that in future planning and development projects coming in the alignment of proposed Transportation Master Plan Corridors, sufficient space should be kept / reserved for which Karachi Mass Transit Cell (KMTC) must be consulted and kept on board for obtaining NOC while undertaking any development project by all concerned departments including the Engineering Department, KMC, Transport and Communication Department, KMC, Master Plan Department KMC and District Municipal Corporations etc.”
Copies of this notification had been sent to almost all the relevant persons not only within the KMC but also in other departments, including the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, cantonment boards and the Karachi Urban Transport Corporation.