Traffic police unable to regulate 4m vehicles in Karachi

KARACHI: There is no other solution to traffic congestion in the city unless five major factors behind traffic gridlock are not tackled timely and affectively including shortage of public transport, rapid growth of private vehicles, roadside encroachments, untrained drivers, and lack of manpower at Karachi Traffic police, said DIG Traffic Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh on Sunday.

DIG Amir said: “Due to lack of manpower, we are unable to regulate four million vehicles registered in the city, and this number is increasing with 900 vehicles per day in the metropolis as per the Excise and Taxation Department Sindh.” He said only 3000 traffic cops and officials are not enough for regulating the vehicular traffic in the mega city.

He regretted that only 32 percent of those vehicles’ drivers are possessing valid licences and rest are driving their vehicles without licences, violating traffic rules and regulations as well as causing traffic jams in the city. He said the proper training of these drivers is must to resolve traffic issue in the city. He said majority of drivers have bogus licences issued from other rural parts of the country and that is why they are unable to follow the traffic laws in the city.

Amir said there is dire need to accelerate the process of recruitment of 6,000 traffic cops in the traffic department which was promised by Chief Minister last year for ensuring traffic system in the city. He further said infrastructure of the city’s all roads could not accommodate such a large number of vehicles as the roads have been encroached by different types of encroachments. He said 70 percent of roads, service roads and footpaths have been encroached by parking mafia, auto workshop, fruit vendors and car dealers which are causing traffic jams in the city. He said due to encroachment on footpaths and service roads, pedestrians are compelled to walk on middle of the roads that results in road accidents in the city.

Amir said the shortage of public transport in the city is also causing traffic jams. He suggested that initiating circular train and accelerating work of mass transit project of Sindh government could resolve the traffic congestion and facilitate public.

He suggested that the dilemma of traffic congestion could not be resolved unless all concerned departments initiate to work under the same umbrella including Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Traffic Engineering Bureau, Sindh Building Control Authority and Transport Department Sindh.