Karachi: Frequent traffic jams on the arteries of Karachi are playing havoc with air quality and bringing serious diseases, especially of heart, lungs, nose and throat to Karachiites, and sadly a large number of these patients includes children.
Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) leader and leading ENT surgeon Dr Qaiser Sajjad said the cases of nasal allergy and other respiratory diseases in Karachi are increased sharply and the main culprit in this regard is the poisonous gases of vehicles that emit during long traffic jams. He said the civic agencies including KMC have failed to get Karachi and Karachiites rid of annoying traffic jams. He said being a doctor he knows that people belonging to all walks of life suffer from these traffic jams. He said doctors, surgeons and medical professional often cannot reach hospitals on time due to traffic problems and sometimes even surgeries are delayed due to this factor.
He said it is sad that in Karachi even ambulances carrying emergency patients go stuck in these traffic jams and expecting women deliver babies inside ambulance vans during on jammed roads and heart patients and seriously injured of road accidents die before reaching hospitals. He said carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, lead and other poisonous substances in vehicle smoke increase ailments of heart and lungs, particularly nasal allergy, asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, nasal polyps and other ailments. He said due to lead poison in smoke of vehicles small children suffer mental retardation. He said the PMA has time and again raised this serious issue and the apex courts also took suo moto actions but sadly this problem still persists and need a serious action by civic agencies.
Dr Qaiser demanding banning all type of road unfit smoky vehicles, adding the vehicle fitness checking department which is teemed with corruption be revitalized and handed to professional and clean hands. He said the PMA presently is very distressed due to the killings of doctors in Karachi but it would surely raise the environmental health issues including traffic jams soon. He said this issue would also be raised from the forum of medical and social committee of Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi in shape of awareness raising programs. He said even both forums could jointly launch a drive to make Karachi a traffic-jam free city and resultantly a society with clean air.
Karachi Transport Action Committee president Mohammad Ashraf Banglori asked the government of Sindh and DIG Traffic Karachi to take action against long traffic jams on the city roads. He said people and transporters suffer a lot due to absence of traffic cops from streets. He also demanded ending illegal terminals of public transport vehicles from roads.
However, the issue cannot be resolved till the government bans all old and road unfit vehicles from plying in Karachi and hand over the motor engine fitness department to honest and professional people. Karachi is the city of Chingchies and old road unfit buses and it needs banning all old and shabby buses and minibuses by revamping the road-based public transport system and repairing and running the dysfunctional Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) on priority.