East district administration closed it due to 'traffic congestion'
Many Karachiites have been irked at the closure of a U-turn on the city’s Rashid Minhas Road.
They took to social media to express their concerns over the closure of the U-turn in front of Aladin Park.
“Can someone please explain why specifically built U-turn in front of Aladin Park/Pavilion End Club has been blocked [after] initially spending millions on it,” asked a member of Halaat Updates Group in a Facebook post.
“Anyone willing to go to Gulshan Chorangi or any place on right side near Lasania lane has to drive all the way till Johar Mor. That’s been hell frustrating.”
Perhaps the U-turn was closed because of Sunday Bazaar, he said, questioning, “How can we take this up?”
Who closed the U-turn?
The U-turn in front of Aladin Park was constructed by the then City District Government Karachi and the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town administration in 2006. It was closed on the orders of the Karachi East deputy commissioner around three months ago.
The district administration closed the U-turn on the recommendation of the traffic police, Additional Deputy Commissioner Arfan Mirwani told SAMAA Digital.
The U-turn resulted in massive gridlocks as a large number of vehicles would gather on the spot during rush hours, according to the traffic police.
The traffic police identified bottlenecks at four locations from NIPA to Jauhar Morr, Mirwani said. These bottlenecks formed in front of Aladin Park, Pavilion End Club, weekly bachat bazaars and near Lal Flats.
Massive snarl-ups became a routine occurrence every Sunday and Wednesday, when bachat bazaars are set up in a ground adjacent to Aladin Park.
Traffic police personnel tried to maintain the flow of traffic on these days, but there would be a huge mess because of roadside stalls, car parking and visitors in the evening.
Mirwani said the flow of traffic has improved since the closure of the U-turn. “The district administration has no plan to reopen it,” he said.
If the Karachi Development Authority wants the U-turn to reopen, it should discuss a solution to the traffic issue with the district administration and traffic police, the official said.
“It is the job of the district administration and traffic police to ensure a smooth flow of traffic, not the KDA,” Mirwani said.
KDA Chief Engineer Mubeen Siddiqui said the district administration didn’t inform them it was closing the U-turn on Rashid Minhas Road.
“The step taken by the district administration and traffic police seems to facilitate the bachat bazaar management,” he said.
Siddiqui said it was not the right solution as people took the U-turn to get to the other side of the road. “The solution should be to arrange parking of bachat bazaars at the entrance or at the backside of the ground.”
He said he had ordered a senior KDA officer to get the U-turn reopened. The district administration made the decision on its own without considering the issues faced by the public.
Rashid Minhas Road falls under the jurisdiction of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, KMC Technical Services Director General Shabihul Hasan said. But the matter of closing the U-turn rests with the East district administration and the KDA.