MM Alam Road Remodelling Project finally ready for kick-off

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The MM Alam Road Remodelling Project, hanging in the balance for the last five years, is finally ready to begin at a cost of Rs 250 million by the Transport Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA), a subsidiary body of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), after the culmination of the monsoon season, Pakistan Today has learnt.
The much-awaited project, first initiated in 2006 by former Lahore district nazim Mian Aamir Mehmood at the cost of Rs 133.35 million, was planned to be completed in 2008 but got delayed due to change of government, uphill task of establishing a drainage system by the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) and shifting of utilities, including electric installations.
“MM Alam Road, known as a major culinary and commercial hub of Lahore, with some of the city’s best restaurants and shops, is plagued by patches and with its remodelling from Firdous Market to Mini Market, Gulberg, a three-kilometre stretch, the road will be declared as a model road,” TEPA Director Israr Saeed told Pakistan Today.
He said that MM Alam Road would be widened to 80 feet and have two lanes.
“Each lane will be 30 feet wide and three feet wide greenbelts will separate the two. Around 13-metre high streetlights will be installed at 40-metre intervals,” he said. Israr said that basic provisions had been set aside for infrastructure development of the Lahore Rapid Mass Transit System due to which the road would never be a problem for future mega development projects.
The TEPA director said that parking would be along the road with parallel position and 10 feet footpaths would be also constructed for pedestrians. A LDA senior official said that former LDA director general Umer Rasool hired Al-Imam Enterprise, favourite of CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, for designing and construction of MM Alam Road. But after criticism, LDA had to nullify the deal with the company and allowed TEPA to construct the road by its own, he added.
The LDA official said that the project aimed at widening and rehabilitation of MM Alam Road would cater to the rapidly growing traffic on Main Boulevard, Gulberg and associated arteries.
It would stream line the ever increasing traffic during peak hours, improve efficiency of the road and provide an alternate link parallel to Main Boulevard, Gulberg sharing the major traffic load, control the parking, create balance between the mobility and the parking of commercial traffic in a commercially vibrant area, he added.
The official said that the project got a new lease of life after WASA completed the work of setting up the area drainage scheme of MM Alam Road worth Rs 280 million in April 2010. WASA MD Javed Iqbal said that the drainage scheme was part of the MM Alam Road Widening Project. During the process of the scheme, WASA had to relocate 10,000 water supply lines and 103 sewerage connections, he added. Under the area drainage scheme of MM Alam Road, a new drain with 25,630 rft would bring to an end the issue of stagnant water.
He said that the drain had to be laid down at MM Alam Road but due to unavailability of space it was planned to lay down the drain at Shamsi Road, parallel to MM Alam Road. “The drain is connected to MM Alam Road through small linking drains. “It is passing through Hussain Chowk, Ali Garh Chowk, Sir Syed Chowk, Officers Colony, Old Airport, Walton, DHA and flows into the Main Sattukatla Drain. The drain is three feet long and wide in the beginning and becomes 6 feet long and wide in the end,” he added.
A TEPA official said that given the previous plan, high-tension electricity supply lines had to be shifted underground and the number of transformers on the road was reduced from 45 to 11. But, later TEPA planned to maintain the status quo, he added. Jahanzaib Bokhari, a shopkeeper at MM Alam Raod, termed the newly-constructed drainage system as a good omen. “Stagnant water was a long standing problem at MM Alam Road, Ghalib Market, Hussain Chowk, Guru Mangat road, Gulberg Factory Area, Mecca Colony and adjoining area of Gulberg II.
With massive commercialisation and growing population, the old drainage system had been overburdened and incapable to flush out sewerage and rainwater. The situation would turn worse during monsoon. Last year, the old drain had been chocked causing overflowing of gutters due to which water had infiltrated into houses, markets and shops,” he added.



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