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RDA joins NHA in opposing Rs8 bn link road to Benazir Airport
09-02-2013, 12:41 PM
Post: #1
RDA joins NHA in opposing Rs8 bn link road to Benazir Airport
ISLAMABAD: The Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has cautioned the Capital Development Authority (CDA), in clear words, not to waste Rs08 billion on the new proposed route connecting New Benazir Bhutto International Airport (NBBIA) with the twin cities.



The RDA has suggested to the CDA to stick to Islamabad’s Master Plan and link the Motorway (M-2) with the new airport which is most economical and feasible from traffic engineering point of view, documents available with The News reveal.



The CDA is sticking to construct an entirely new 18 kilometres route from Islamabad Toll Plaza at Golra to the new airport to benefit a few vested interests instead of linking already built route till Islamabad Motorway to NBBIA, which is only four kilometres from Motorway while the rest of the route is well constructed.



The National Highway Authority has also been opposing the new proposed route, but the NHA chairman says nothing has been finalised as yet.According to the documents, the RDA director has conveyed to the NHA and CDA that the proposed alignment of new link road to NBBIA has been critically examined with reference to Planning and Traffic Engineering point of view by RDA and it is opined that:



“i. The link road proposed by CDA to NBBIA is actually a sectoral road between Sectors I & H. The present planning of I Sectors indicates that these sectors would be a high density sectors with 10 Marlas and smaller size plots. Since, the link road would be a sectoral road, definitely the traffic generated from these sectors would also ply on this link road. Thus proposed link road will not accommodate the traffic flow generated from NBBIA.



ii. The termination point of proposed link road is at Golra More, GT Road, is again a critical point to manage the local traffic and the traffic moving from NBBIA to cross this junction and will further chock this intersection. Whereas, Golra More junction is already accommodating a huge volume of traffic. Thus a signal free interchange would be required at Golra More to bypass the traffic of Link Road to Islamabad. Further, the Golra More has recently been widened and further widening would require huge acquisition of adjoin properties. Thus enhance the project cost.



iii. Again intersection at Kashmir Highway would be required to link the Golra Road to Kashmir Highway for smooth disbursement of traffic coming from NBBIA.



Whereas, if existing link road to Motorway (M-2) be developed as Link Road to NBBIA, it would be more feasible due to the following reasons:



i. Instead of constructing a new link road, it would be more economical to construct a designated additional lane for traffic generated from NBBIA on both sides of existing link road. Further, the present link road to M-2 is a part of Kashmir Highway as per Master Plan of Islamabad and ROW [right of way] is available at site for its widening.



ii. Termination at GT road is already planned and working. However, with some modifications, it can be improved to bifurcate the traffic towards Peshawar, Islamabad and Rawalpindi.



iii. Further from Zero Point at Motorway to NBBIA, RDA has bound the housing societies to leave ROW as proposed by NHA i.e. 60 metres for link road. In this regard, societies are not allowed to have direct access on the link road; however, if more ROW is required, the societies can be bound to leave the same. iv. Moreover, this link is about 2.5km shorter than the link proposed by the CDA. Thus, reduce the travel time, construction and land acquisition cost.



In the light of the justification above, RDA has considered opinion that existing Link Road (Kashmir Highway) to M-2 may be developed/constructed as Link Road to NBBIA.”



The CDA chairman could not be contacted. He was sent specific questions regarding the proposed route to NBBIA which was also not answered till the filing of this report.
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