Lahore Ring Road (LRR) – Just another white elephant?
For an idea that was conceived almost 25 years ago, it has certainly taken almost a generation to plan and manage the build of the much touted Lahore Ring Road. From the grand promises of Sheray-Punjab (NS) to the endless modifications under successive regimes, the project has see-sawed between fever-pitched activity and eerily silent machinery on locations.
Regardless of the bullet-pointed benefits of the scheme which we have become accustomed to, the outcome of the protracted construction phase has resulted in Lahore being engulfed in an ever-present dusty atmosphere. Any visitors’ appreciation of the gleaming International Airport is wiped out as soon as one leaves the airport perimeter as clouds of dust from the piles of dug up earth blanket the traffic.
The mind also boggles as to why there has been so little work over the last decade or so the project has been in progress. Just to put things into perspective, a city like London which has an existing infrastructure dating back to Roman times has outlined a complete overhaul and redevelopment of the East end to build a whole 2012 Olympic Village and transport network to support it. I can appreciate that things take a little more time in our part of the world but taking 10 years to complete merely 15km of the originally proposed 75km is just plain unacceptable.
I call on the Project Team, Lahore Municipality and Civic agencies to either roll up their sleeves and work their socks off to complete the project by mid 2009 (still delayed by years) or face public name and shame campaign (not to mention legal accountability) for all persons involved in the city’s biggest sham project to date.
In my view, the whole project ought to be scrapped for a much more extensive and eco-friendly mono-rail service. Yes, I mean the Lahore Rapid Transit System which should be extended to the route of the poorly-managed LRR. This form of public transport will not only help reduce vehicle congestion along all routes but it will also reduce the pollution levels which are threatening people’s health.
As always, your view are always welcome.