KARACHI: Sindh Works and Services Department has assured the business community of Karachi that the link road (southern bypass) connecting National Highway with Motorway M9 would be fixed in a month to facilitate local industry.
A meeting, on the request of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), was held at Commissioner Karachi’s office last week to discuss and resolve the issue pertaining to poor road infrastructure, which was affecting local industries and national economic activities.
According to the minutes of meeting, KCCI had lamented that despite paying heavy taxes, industrialists were not being facilitated. Representative of KCCI pointed out the issue that the link road which connected National Highway to Super Highway (Motorway M9), a route to reach Port Qasim, was in poor condition, and heavy as well as normal traffic on this road was suffering due to delays and congestion.
Representative of Sindh Works & Services Department informed that the road was built by Pakistan Steel and same was transferred to Sindh government in 2015. The provincial government had already constructed 11 KMs of the 18 KMs road, while the remaining 7 KMs would be constructed during this financial year.
Superintendent Engineer Works & Services Department Sindh committed that the portion of the road which was in worst condition would be repaired in one month time to enable smooth movement of heavy traffic. He informed that bridges on the road were under construction and would be completed within one month.
The steel industry imports almost 100% of its raw material, which is transported through this route. Similarly, other industries like Cement, Power and Textile are also dependent on this single route for the transportation of their import and export of finished goods.
Heavy vehicles traveling from the Southern region including Nooriabad S.I.T.E area towards Port Qasim have to go through a bridge which passes through Malir River on this road but as the bridge is not equipped to handle heavy vehicles the traffic is diverted to a steep causeway right next to it.
Industries from Southern region are suffering from huge losses as transportation which usually required four to five hours has now gone up to one to two days. Similarly, industries situated upcountry are also suffering the same, as earlier they only required two to three days to reach but now they need up to five to six days due to traffic congestion.
The delays in lifting cargo also causes delay in discharging cargo at Port Qasim which eventually results in millions of dollars of demurrage to be paid to ship owners/terminals by local industries all due to an inadequate infrastructure for transportation.
The project of Southern Bypass is an alternative intercity route from Karachi Port Trust (KPT) near Keamari to National Highway near Landhi. It is meant to reduce the burden of commercial vehicles including dumpers, trucks, water tankers and other heavy vehicles on main city streets.
The plan was made some 22 years ago to forestall traffic problems in the future and divert heavy traffic from intra-city roads.