Published: November 5, 2017
RAWALPINDI: In view of anticipated rise in volume of heavy vehicular traffic in wake of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), National Logistics Cell (NLC) has planned to establish rest areas of international standard astride national highways and CPEC routes with integrated facilities for commuters in general and truckers in particular.
According to an NLC statement, the initiative has been undertaken by NLC in line with recommendations of National Trucking Policy which provides for setting up multipurpose parking and resting facilities for drivers at major locations astride National Highways. The Project has been named as NLC Drivers Emergency and Rest Areas (DERA).
Under the phase one of DERA project, 8 Rest Areas will be set up at various locations on N – 5 from Gujranwala to Karachi which will be subsequently increased and extended to other highways including CPEC routes. NLC along with reputed oil marketing companies, food chains and other service providers will develop best possible facilities for local and international commuters, the statement said.
The facilities include fuel stations, eateries, warehouses, mart, workshops, ambulance and first aid station, round the clock repair and recovery of light and heavy vehicles, mosque, vehicle wash, service area, hotel, guest rooms, telephone, internet, video surveillance and many other facilities.
The concept of DERA is a major step towards ensuring high standard of safety by attending to the drivers fatigue caused by long haul journey, help regulate traffic density in major cities and reduce accidents caused by disorganized parking on main highways.
Trucks queuing up haphazardly at workshops and hotels are a common sight on major highways that not only hampers flow of traffic but also pose hazards to rest of commuters. Likewise, in event of breakdown, there is no proper system of timely repair and recovery system. DERA will serve as one stop shop for small and large fleet operators alike.
Under the proposed plan, rest areas will be established at Gakhar, Lahore, Sahiwal, Pirowal, Khan Bela, Chowk Mari, Bhirya and Karachi Northern Bypass. The number of stations will be gradually increased with operationalisation of CPEC.
NLC is the most reputed fleet operator of the country having elaborate infrastructure on N-5 and vast experience of successful operation of Trans Freight Stations.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2017