RAWALPINDI - Shopkeepers, traders and the residents have expressed grave concern over the diversion of traffic from the Benazir Bhutto Road (BBR) due to the Sixth Road flyover project.
Till the completion of the project, the administration has blocked the road from Rehmanabad to Double Road that affected the business activities in the shopping malls and plazas on both sides of the road.
Talking to INP, the shopkeepers said that the mega project costing Rs1.88 billion would definitely benefit the masses but the administration should have taken the traders in confidence too before starting the project as their income has come down to near zero. They said shoppers cannot reach the shops due to severe traffic gridlocks and prefer to go to other shopping centres in the city.
The shopping malls affected by the project include Dubai Plaza, Midway Centre, Aladdin Plaza, Rabi Centre, Gulf Centre, Royal Centre etc. The shopkeepers of the plazas said that the items in their shops would be out-fashioned after three months and could not be sold causing loss of millions of rupees to them.
Talking to INP, Chairman of the market committee of the area, Habib Noor said that hundreds of daily wagers are working in the plazas and they would go unemployed due the halt in the business activity in the area.
While, Muhammad Ibrahim, president of the traders union of Rabi Centre said that the time between Ramazan and Eid-ul-Azha is the peak time for business and they wait for the three months during the whole year. The blockage of the BBR has ruined their business season causing heavy losses to them, he added.
When contacted, the city traffic police said that the department devised a traffic plan for the convenience of the commuters during the construction period of the flyover. He said 282 wardens and eight inspectors have been deployed in the area to control traffic, while four fork lifters would also be present to remove any hurdle in the way of vehicles.
The traffic police spokesman said that the citizens can come to the area without any fear of the traffic mess as the alternative roads have been announced, while the BBR has been blocked from Cricket Stadium Road to Chandni Chowk.
Direction boards and banners, and no parking boards are being installed in the area for the benefit of the citizens, the police informed, appealing to the transporters and the residents to cooperate with them for the smooth flow of traffic.