The newly constructed Margalla Avenue, envisioned as a vital link between multiple sectors of the federal capital and G.T. Road in Sangjani, is facing a safety crisis attributed to a sluggish pace of work and a flawed design. The two-lane highway, nestled in the foothills of Margalla Hills, was intended to alleviate heavy traffic as a bypass but has been problematic for vehicles since its inception.
Margalla Avenue Design
A significant portion of the fast-moving track has been closed, forcing two-way traffic onto a single lane without proper dividers, thereby increasing the risk of fatal accidents. The U-turns on the fast track also pose dangers to speedy traffic, raising concerns among commuters. Wildlife and pedestrians frequently use the road for crossings, and the absence of a fence on either side further exacerbates this problem.
The Capital Development Authority (CDA), tasked with the road’s development, has failed to address key safety issues. The construction of a fence on both sides of the road was a prime responsibility after opening it to vehicular traffic. In the absence of this, the civic agency was supposed to erect a fence on the hillside to prevent wildlife crossings and curb the growth of unplanned settlements.
Alarming reports suggest that housing societies in Zone III, declared illegal by the civic body, are attempting to gain direct access from Margalla Road to boost their business. A CDA official expressed concerns that the agency might struggle to control construction in the area due to the influence of vested interests.
A senior official from the Islamabad police, speaking on the condition of anonymity, highlighted the dangers posed to commuters by the constant repair work and the closure of one side of the road. Despite requests from the traffic police authorities to expedite repairs, the CDA has allegedly not taken adequate action.
The closure of one side of the road has made the police’s job challenging in preventing accidents. Additionally, the absence of a fence on both sides has led to concerns about wildlife-related accidents. The police have consistently reminded the CDA to address these issues promptly.
Work on Margalla Avenue
Responding to inquiries, a source within the CDA stated that repair work is underway and is expected to be completed by the next month. The construction firm, which has not formally handed over the project, is reportedly executing the repair work under the same contract and cost of the initial project. Plans to erect a fence on the hillside are also in progress, although there will be no fence on the southern side of the road.
As the authorities grapple with these safety concerns, commuters and residents along Margalla Avenue remain apprehensive about the risks posed by the flawed design and delayed repairs. The pressure is mounting on the CDA to prioritize the safety of the public and address the issues promptly to prevent further accidents and ensure the smooth flow of traffic.