One of the important artery of the city, University road is these days undergoing renovation. The project that was inaugurated last December by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, involved scrapping, widening and carpeting of the 10 kilometer stretch from Civic Center (Hasan Square) to Safoora Goth intersection. Work has moved on at a steady pace and would require another couple of months before it is finally completed. But the ordeal for citizens is to carry on, as the Red Line BRTS is to start in July over the same portion.
As part of the current project service lanes on both side of the roadway are being trimmed and all utilities are being transferred sideways. The green belt has also been shortened but no provision has been created for the upcoming Red Line. The renovation has already caused a lot of nuisance for commuters, who daily get stuck in traffic due to poor management. Cases of mugging and road accidents have also been reported on the under construction roadway. One only hopes that the project is completed at earliest and commuters are freed of their troubles. But not all prayed is granted especially when you have the incompetent Sindh Government doing it.
Both, the renovation project and the Red Line are being carried out by the provincial authority. But either the officials are deliberately acting dumb or there is serious lack of coordination. A similar BRTS project, the Green Line is already under going construction from Nagan Chorangi to Gurumandir intersection. The project is an initiative of Federal Government and is estimated to be completed in a time span of two years (2016-2018). A visit to the site reveals the models. Large pillars have been erected for the elevated portion, while special platforms have been created for on-ground section. Unless the provincial government has some other model to follow, no provisions have been left for either, the elevated and the on-ground sections on the newly renovated University road. Hence, one can safely assume that once completed the newly-constructed road will once again undergo digging and scrapping for the Red Line.
Planned under the new traffic management system, the Red Line BRTS will run from Malir Cantt to Gurumandir intersection where it will merge with the Green Line and move on till Tower. A 27 kilometer long project, an extension of the Red Line will enter Sharah-e-Qaideen and go up till Sharah-e-Faisal. While travelers have already suffered for five long months and will suffer for another few till the renovation is completed, the Red Line will bring more misery and will run for at least couple of years. Had the Sindh government planned wisely, the same renovation work could have covered the ground laying for the Red Line saving both time and money.