Tag Archives: Motorway

Infrastructure plans: DHA gives presentation on Malir motorway project

KARACHI: 

Following the prime minister’s approval of the Malir motorway project in Karachi, the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Karachi gave a detailed presentation in Islamabad.

The meeting, held at the Ministry of Communications in Pak Secretariat, was attended by the National Highway Authority (NHA) chairperson and communication secretary Shahid Ashraf Tarar, DHA Karachi administrator Brig Zubair Ahmed and others.

The project was announced at Governor House in Karachi on July 10 this year. Once completed, the project will connect DHA City to the rest of the DHA phases in district South.

The motorway, which covers the distance from these two areas, will reduce the driving time to merely 20 minutes.

The NHA chairperson appreciated the efforts made by the DHA team and asked for additional information to make an early decision.

The next presentation by DHA on this project will be held in January 2015 at the NHA head office in Islamabad.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2014.


Dangerous roads: 13,000 die every year in traffic accidents, says Motorway IG

FAISALABAD: Every year, around 13,000 people die and 50,000 are injured in accidents on the country’s roads, National Highways and Motorway Police Inspector General (IG) Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema said on Tuesday.

He was addressing a road-safety seminar at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF).

 

“A majority of these accidents are caused by the negligence of drivers, who are ignorant of basic traffic rules. Around 80 per cent of people involved in traffic accidents are between the ages of 14 and 30 years,” Cheema said.

“We have taken steps to reduce the loss of life in accidents at the motorway. We have been able to reduce the accidents by 40 per cent by taking protective and safety measures,” the IG said.

“There are three prerequisite for a safe journey on roads: engineering, education and enforcement,” he said.

“Due to engineering mistakes in construction of roads, some sections of roads have become death traps,” Cheema said.

He said that the motorway police had a very good repute due to their performance.

“Even federal ministers, provincial ministers, military and civilian officials and other VIPs have to pay fines for violating traffic rules,” he said.

“Education (awareness about safe-driving) and enforcement of laws are essential to curtail the increasing road accidents. If someone is wearing a seatbelt or a helmet it increases his chances of survival in a road accident by 60 to 70 per cent,” he said.

Citing the fatal accident in Paris in which Lady Diana was killed, Cheema said, only one person in the car was wearing the seatbelt and he survived.

“Speeding, using mobile phones and lane violation cause fatal accidents,” he said.

He said that motorway police teams visited truck and bus terminals to brief drivers about safety rules.

Cheema urged students to focus on education and achieve success through commitment and dedication. “You should not be disappointed by terrorism and the energy crisis. We can turn our homeland into a developed county through hard work,” he said.

UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that in Faisalabad, 1,000 people died in road accidents annually. “Awareness among public about road safety is vital for reducing traffic accidents,” he said.

“Education is a lifelong process. We need to educate our people about traffic rules. This will reduce traffic accidents and fatalities,” he said.

UAF Public Relations and Publications Principal Officer Prof Dr Jalal Arif and Lecturer Ayesha Asghar addressed the seminar.

Regional Police Officer (RPO) Muhammad Ehsan Tufail and City Traffic Officer Muhammad Masoom also attended the lecture.

A camp for issuing learning license was also established in front of the Iqbal Auditorium to facilitate students.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2014.


Militancy: Motorway mechanic killed on Peshawar-Islamabad route

CHARSADDA: One mechanic working on contract for the Motorway Police was killed when unidentified motorcyclists opened fire on a workshop on the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway in Risalpur, Nowshera.

A police official told The Express Tribune at 12:30am on Wednesday two motorcyclists opened fire on a vehicle parked near the service road, killing one mechanic and injuring the other. He added the Mardan police counter-terrorism department has filed an FIR against unidentified militants and investigation is under way.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson of militant group Jamaatul Ahrar Ehsanullah Ehsan claimed responsibility for the attack by posting on Twitter.

Alleged murderer escapes from lock-up

A man arrested on charges of murder and attempted murder escaped from Charsadda police station on Wednesday.

City police official, Ijaz Khan said the accused Ajab Khan, a resident of Pirbala, was detained under Sections 452, 324 and 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Ijaz said a case was filed on the report of ASI Marjan Ali against three policemen, Siraj, Sajid and Shah Wali who were present inside the station; the detainee allegedly escaped in front of them. They were arrested for negligence on duty and further investigation is under way, he explained.

It is worth mentioning Charsadda police station—situated in a high-risk area—is a newly-constructed facility with CCTV. However, no footage of the escape was found on CCTV.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2014.

 


Road accident: Four of a family parish on motorway

RAWALPINDI: Four members of a family including two children were killed in an accident on motorway near Kallar Kahar on Monday.

National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP)
said the family was coming from Chakwal to Rawalpindi when a mini truck rear-ended their car near Balksar interchange.

The deceased were identified as Muhammad Iftikhar, 23; his two daughters — Alvina, 12, and Aliza, 4 — and his cousin Robina Bibi, 25.

They were taken to the District Headquarters Hospital Chakwal.NHMP Sub-Inspector Sakhawat Hussain said the Shahzor truck (LRD-4486) was loaded with guava, rammed into the car (SLD-9700).

“The accident was due to negligence on part of the truck driver,” Hussain said.

Police say Dilawar Shah, who was driving the mini-truck, escaped the scene. An FIR has been registered against him.

The police while quoting eyewitnesses said that the truck was overloaded with the fruit and rash driving caused the accident.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Asghar Ali Shah said that two people were killed on the spot while
the children died at the hospital.

The police say they have impounded the truck and are on the lookout for the driver.

Five members of a family were killed at the same place when a passenger bus rear-ended a car in June this year.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2014.

 


Karachi-Hyderabad: NHA to begin work on motorway soon

ISLAMABAD: The National Highway Authority (NHA) will begin work on the Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway (M-9) project soon.

An NHA official said the implementation of M-9 project was one of the top priorities of the authority and the Sindh government has been facilitating the NHA in administrative matters to ensure better and qualitative communication services to the people.

He said the 136-kilometre-long Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway was an important project not only for the commuters of both cities, but also for people of the entire country.

“Almost all the work except for 200 acres of land in Jamshoro district has been completed and hopefully construction will start this year,” he said.

To a question, he said at present Super Highway was in a dilapidated condition due to heavy traffic and expiry of its designed period.

He said for the repair and improvement of the highway, the NHA approved periodic maintenance schemes under the Annual Maintenance Plan (AMP) 2013-14 amounting to Rs305.28 million.

In the past few years, the NHA awarded the contract to two firms on Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis but both failed to complete work according to conditions of the contract, hence their services were terminated.

The project will cost Rs6.3 billion and the scope of the work includes the expansion of the road from four to six lanes and provision of service areas.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2014.

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No Motorway wide enough

The Army is in Islamabad, surrounding all significant government buildings. The Punjab chief minister’s house in Lahore has been secured by the troops. War anthems play on television. Politicians embarrassingly try to outdo one another in tireless sycophancy to the ‘Chief’. Remind me again, what is a ‘coup’?

All of this has happened before; however this time there is one major difference. The elected government has ‘requested’ the Army to come take over Islamabad. Article 245 of the Constitution is being invoked in Islamabad. The Army is to take over Islamabad. Yes, one can phrase it in any way one likes, called to ‘assist’, ‘support’, etc. The Punjab chief minister sometime back ‘requested’ the Corps Commander Lahore for military security to be provided to the chief minister’s residence.

All of this is for what? Is it for the ‘feeble threat’, ‘storm in a teacup’ of His holiness Dr Qadri and Mr Imran Khan? Mian Nawaz Sharif persists with the habit of creating disasters, pretending to ignore them and finally simply grossly overreacting; a habit which has cost him very dearly in the past. The motives of Dr Qadri are not questionable, they are unquestioningly anti-democratic and his methods unscrupulous. Mr Khan does not know what he wants, except for trouble, and all around, and yes, at some stage in life to be prime minister. However, Mian Sahib’s response to this, like his response to almost everything is curious; oscillating between denial and panic. Invoking Article 245 is indeed panic-inducing and dangerous. To deny that this is in response to the potential havoc likely to be wreaked by Qadri, Khan and other assorted mischief makers is disingenuous and not convincing. The motives and the antics of the marchers are admittedly unpleasant. However, it comes with the job, prime minister. Mian Sahib, leaders do need stronger nerves than supervising motorways and flyovers, tasks which most contractors are able to accomplish quite adequately.

It is not only the lack of nerve which is disconcerting. It is the fundamental confusion that surrounds Mian Sahib’s policy. Mian Nawaz Sharif came into government with the visible intent of setting the civilian-military balance right, and that was exactly the right thing to do. However, in less than a year, there has been descent into utter confusion and contradiction. The PML-N government maintains that the trial of the Commando is ‘nothing personal’, and it is about holding a usurper to account. Central to Musharraf’s trial is the question of civil-military imbalance and proceeding with it displays the determination to rectify it. It would have been grounds for some minor celebration and the triumph of democratic ideals; had it been part of any broader trend so as to make us believe that the Commando’s trial is indeed ‘just business’. Alas, it is not. Firebrand members of the Cabinet look to storm the Bastille and triumphantly fly the flag of civilian supremacy one day, only to eat their words and mumble excuses the next.

This government is strong enough to try a former army chief/dictator, yet weak enough not to handle political acrobatics in Islamabad? Mian Sahib’s model of opposition was to do nothing really. While, Mian Shabaz Sharif sat in tent offices in Lahore and lead protests against oppressive Islamabad. Since after all the power crisis was simply caused by the inefficiency of the previous federal government, right? The real opposition was being done by the Supreme Court and the Media. Well, now the villains are gone, and Mian Sahib has to finally do something, anything, do not hold your breath though.

Suspension of fundamental rights, military courts and troops on the roads of Islamabad, Mian Sahib has watched this movie, and perhaps will remember the ending with no fondness. The Protection of Pakistan Act was a sign of the government’s plan of dealing with problems, essentially to allow excess force to be used by the civil law enforcement and military and that will make militancy go away. Now, the same model is applied to political problems.

The military offensive in North Waziristan was the opportunity to set the civil-military balance on the right course. Mian Sahib was required to take ownership of the offensive, give out policy, rather than read the ISPR press release in Parliament, when clearly his heart and soul were not in it.

The businessman in Mian Sahib dominates. The businessman looks at finished products, marketing and visible deliverables, the glossy and the glamorous. A flyover is visible in a way that meaningful legislation is not. The Model Town debacle did not lead to any policy or legislative discussion on police and administrative reforms. The Waziristan operation is accompanied by no debate on amending the FCR. The wind out of Mr Khan’s sails could have been taken out somewhat by having an expedited and meaningful public debate on reforming the electoral process (which does not mean that Mr Khan would have stopped agitation and protests, he has the remarkable ability to find something to protest about; it just would have been less effective). No overhead bridge can fix Balochistan, engagement and policy reform just might.

Mian Sahib is ceding more space to the military by invoking Article 245 and the Protection of Pakistan Act than he is regaining for democracy by the Commando’s trial (the Commando certainly needs to be tried in any event). Mian Sahib displays weakness by trying to sit out the war, while certainly gaining piety points for sitting it out in Saudi Arabia. Mian Sahib is trying to buy survival at the price of weakening democratic institutions and the progress of the past few years. Dr Qadri and Mr Khan have less than innocent intentions, yet, the fight has to be fought politically. Unfortunately, Mian Sahib has forgotten how to do this, certainly, without the support of a belligerent media and a hostile judiciary. The Army is a fickle ally (nobody knows it better then Mian Nawaz Sharif), if it is an ally to Mian Sahib at all at this point.

Pick yourself up, Mian Sahib. The fight has just started. The legitimacy of your government and mandate is not the issue. Your willingness to defend it is, so Mr Prime Minister get to it, fight the fight politically, having faith in yourself and your government. In any case, Mian Sahib, if your approach does not change there is no motorway wide enough to make get your government out of this.

Tailpiece: The June 19 Judgment of the Supreme Court by My Lord the former Chief Justice Tassaduq Jillani on the rights of minorities is what deserves the government’s attention; an excellent judgment by an excellent judge. The recommendations in that judgment are what good policy advice looks like and one dearly hopes that the government listens and implements it.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2014.

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Huge cache of arms, ammunition recovered from vehicle on Lahore-Islamabad motorway

RAWALPINDI: A huge amount of arms and ammunition were recovered from a vehicle on the Lahore-Islamabad Motorway near Chakri Interchange, Express News reported on Wednesday.

The law enforcement agencies stopped a vehicle on the motorway and seized 200 pistols, 19 Kalashnikovs and 23 other guns from it.

Around 48,000 bullets and 45 night visions telescopes were also recovered.

Two suspects, Noor Zaman and Israr, were also taken into custody and shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation.