Karachi: Small overpasses and flyovers have become inevitable for the downtown areas of Karachi to cope with growing traffic jams that are wasting time and money of citizens besides aggravating noise and air pollution in the mega city.
An overpass or a flyover is a bridge, road, railway or similar structure that crosses over another road or railway. An overpass and underpass together form a grade separation. In crowded parts of downtown areas stack interchanges are made up of many overpasses.
Overpasses and flyovers play a major role in streamlining the traffic control system. Through flyovers plenty of time is saved avoiding congestion. Pollution effect is reduced with the overpasses. They also reduce the risk of accidents. They also contribute a lot to the aesthetics of the city. The persons travelling on the flyover can enjoy the panoramic view of the city.
Overpass is an old engineering device to cope with the traffic jams. The world’s first railroad overpass was constructed in 1843 by the London and Croydon Railway at Norwood Junction railway station to carry its atmospheric railway vehicles over the Brighton Main Line. The first overpass in India was opened on 14 April 1965 at Kemps Corner in Mumbai. The 48 feet (15 m) long bridge was constructed in about seven months by Shirish Patel at a cost of Rs17.5 lakh.
World’s most crowded city Tokyo is famous for its multi-staged street overpasses that successful regulate overwhelming traffic of this mega metropolis. There is no harm in studying these systems and trying to replicate some of them in Karachi.
Though during the city governments of Niamatullah Khan Advocate and Mustafa Kamal, Karachi has got some beautiful flyovers on main roads, but the city still awaits small street-based overpasses and flyover in the congested downtown areas.
The benefits of small overpasses and flyovers could be fully realized in the very congested areas like Saddar Karachi. These small structures, preferably made from steel could be easily erected over different street junctions in Saddar area and they could reduce traffic jams successfully.
These small overpasses are direly needed over MA Jinnah Road/ Rizvi Shaheed Road/ Mansfield Street junction, MA Jinnah Road/ Preedy Street junction, New MA Jinnah Road/ Mansfield Street junction, Depot Lines/ Shahrah-e-Liaquat/ Dr Daudpota Road junction, Zaibunnisa Street/ Shahrah-e-Liaquat junction, Shahrah-e-Liaquat/Abdullah Haroon Road Junction, Shahrah-e-Liaquat/ Court Road Junction, Shahrah-e-Liaquat/ Mohammad Bin Qasim Road Junction, Sarwar Shaheed Road/ Zaibunnisa Street junctions, Lucky Star and other adjoining busy streets.
The elected city government of Karachi is expected to give focus on small overpasses and flyovers in busy commercial and residential areas of the city to mitigate the sufferings of the Karachiites due to jaunting traffic jams. Local engineering universities particularly NED University of Engineering and Technology could greatly assist the city government in erecting these small overpasses over the different streets of Karachi.