I was and somehow still, way too stressed and disturbed by the traffic congestion issues at Shahkam Chowk. Since I am the resident of Bahria Town, the major and foremost drawback that I observed is the chaotic condition at Shahkam Chowk. Whenever I have to enter or exit Bahria Town it takes a lot of time to think, which way I should prefer (sometimes I succeed and most of the time I lose). Due to this, I also schedule and limit my unnecessary traveling if I have to use Shahkam Chowk route. And I believe that everyone is familiar with this hindrance which we have to face whether we are entering or exiting Bahria Town from Shahkam Chowk. And the struggle to pass through it could not be more real for us. In addition, residents of Punjab Co-operative society, Canal Gardens and Sukh-chan gardens are also on the same boat with Bahria Town to cope this hurdle of Shahkam Chowk.
Bahria Town Policy:
First of all, I want to mention that Bahria Town has a separate department, of Road networks and Traffic management. This department not only work within Bahria Town but also for surrounding areas of Bahria Town. And it is one of their policy to do such voluntary projects which are beneficial for their residents and other people living near Bahria Societies.
I have also witnessed the above policy many times, where ever Bahria Town projects are located. They always try to make changes outside of Bahria Territory, it includes construction of main roads, underpasses and bridges that connects to Bahria Town.
Karachi’s Clifton Flyovers and underpasses developed by Bahria Town. It is one of the Pakistan’s mega and only project that was developed by Bahria Town itself. The project not only provide clear and smooth way for the Bahria Town Karachi residents, but also contribute to solve the enormous traffic issues for many other surrounding areas. Similar projects were undertaken at Medical & Education City near Ferozpur road, they carpeted all the roads that connect to this society. Bahria Town have done every possible thing to provide ease and convenience to its residents. Well, as a matter of fact, this policy has failed at Shahkam issue so far.
Dispute At Shahkam Bridge:
If you ever wonder why is this issue taking too much time to construct a bridge or why Bahria Town have not done something for it. Even though, it is just a matter of days for Bahria to resolve this issue. Well, last year I also heared that the Government has approved the construction of a bridge on Shahkam Chowk. However, up till now there are no signs of it, no one is sure as to when the construction will take place. My brother told me that, the bridge or underpass is surely expected and Bahria Town management is working on it. But, the real hurdle that is stopping the construction of bridge, is the Shahkam Industries. Because, the land opposite to ShahKam industries is owned by Shahkam group and they are not ready to leave it. So, strangely enough this dispute is not going to settle any time soon. Either we have to wait patiently or consider other routes that are already available.
Few Steps Taken By Bahria Town:
Unfortunately and sadly Shahkam Chowk is the main entrance of Bahria Town. Every time I cross Shahkam Chowk, it seems that there are peak-hours. In early days, like four to five years ago we did not expected that it will be some serious choking issues and overloading traffic at Shahkam Chowk. Its been years that no proper steps have been taken to resolve the traffic issue out there. Though, in the start of this year, Bahria Town management did a little work and got some space from Imeprial College side to widened and construct the canal road. However, it was not as fruitful as we thought. Secondly, the number of traffic wardens also increased, around six traffic wardens and two to three guards of Bahria Town enggaged in controlling the traffic flow. Thirdly and most importantly, Bahria Town worked on different substitute ways which helped us a lot.
Other Connecting Routes:
There is no doubt we all need clear and time saving way through Shahkam Chowk and it is the most common route for almost all the residents. And no one wants to spend their time hours just to cross this obstacle of Bottle-neck Shahkam Chowk. Well, I looked into this tormenting situation with a great interest and tried to find out every possible solution for it to share.
Luckily, there are other substitute ways in Bahria Town too, many of us are well-aware with other ways and might be some of us are not. But this information would be helpful for those who haven’t accustomed with it yet.
Jaliana Exit & Entrance:
Well, according to me Jaliana exit and entrance is one of the most convenient and easy substitute way out. I personally use this way most of the times. After traffic overloading issue at Shahkam, in start of this year, Bahria Town management made some changes on Jaliana exit. Somehow, this route works but not as much as we required. At Jaliana exit they have made few changes last year:
- Carpeted the road to Dream Gardens.
- Opened both sides of Jaliana for exit and entrance.
- Placed two guards on both sides of the bridge. So that, one way traffic can move on the bridge.
Advantage of this Route:
This route is a little longer to reach canal road, but it surely saves the time that is wasted at Shahkam Chowk instead.
- This route will connect you to Raiwind Road crossing Dream Gardens Society.
- You can easily enter to Jubliee and Izmir Town via this route, which leads you to the main canal road.
- Same route can be used if you are coming from Thokar via canal road to enter Bahria Town using bridge towards Jaliana.
Golf View Or Nargis Block Exit:
The second most appropriate way is Golf view exit through Nargis Block. You may face some traffic at Jaliana at certain times, but this Golf view exit is always clear and it will save much of your time. This route was basically constructed to connect Bahria Town to Bahria Orchard. And I observed that many people are now using this route from last few months.
Bahria carpeted the roads till ‘BeaconHouse National University’. A small patch of road is not constructed where you can face slow moving.
- It will take four to five minutes after entering Nargis Block to connect you ‘Mirza Chowk’ and then ‘Adda Plot’.
- This route will also help you to take Ring road.
- Shaukat Khanam, Wapda Town, Valencia Society, DHA Rehbar and other surrounding areas are easily accessible through this route.
Sector F or Tipu Sultan block Exit:
Sector F or Tipu Sultan block exit is the third most suitable path. Well, this route takes a little longer to exit from Bahria Town, but it is quite suitable for the residents of Sector E and Sector F. While exiting Tipu sultan block the road is extremely wide and carpeted till the end which passing through Sui Gas Housing society.
- This route will lead you towards ‘Jaati Umra’ and further Raiwind Road.
- Sector F exit is only suitable for those who have to travel to the other side of the city.
- It is one of the most clear and peaceful route with a very low traffic flow.
Sikandar Block Exit Sector F:
Sector F has another exit from Sikandar block. This passage will link you to the main Multan Road via passing through NFC 2 society.
Sukh-Chan Garden Route:
Sukh Chan Gardens has two entrances, one side is at main Canal road adjacent to Bahria Town and other gate of Sukh Chan Garden opens at main Multan Road. But, there is another way and mostly people are unfamiliar of it. That route links you to Multan Road near to Punjab Co-operative society main gate. If you are coming from Bahria Town and take the service lane of Canal road from Sukh Chan Gate onwards. After 500 to 700 meters you can have left turn, then it will open to Multan Road. But that service road is not wide enough and is usually not clear.
EE Block Near Overseas B:
I have not used this route yet, and do not know how long it is. But this route can also be used to reach main Multan road, through EE block near to Overseas B.
There is another exit through Rafi Block, the roads are unmattled on this way. But now this route has closed temporarily, it was also used to reach Multan road. I have seen ‘Work in Progess’ board where road has blocked, might be this way open again after a few days.
Well, we have these seven different routes to and from Bahria Town. But they are still insufficient because most of the routes certainly gives a decent approach to Multan Road and Raiwind Road. For the time being, only Jaliana and Golf View exit are somehow substitute for the Shahkam Chowk. Nevertheless, which ever way I chose I never reached anywhere on time. So, the only hassel-free way we need is the Shahkam Chowk.
Earlier in this post I mentioned that, we heared almost a year ago about the construction of a bridge. Its been more than a year now and seen no signs of it. But the positive hope is still there and I am winding up this post by leaving a good news here. In July this year, LDA has approved a bridge/underpass for Shahkam Chowk and allocated Rs 100 Million for this project. And there are rumors the construction of bridge/underpass at Shahkam chowk will start in the start of next year.