Police seek volunteers to control traffic

Karachi: Ghulam Qadir Thebo, Additional Inspector General of Traffic Police Sindh has asked various trade associations and Anjumans of small markets across the city to nominate their representatives who could be deployed on various roads to supplement traffic police officers in order to effectively deal with traffic congestions at some of busiest roads of Karachi where traffic jams have become a routine.

“Police cannot improve the traffic flow situation alone and we need to work together”, he added while speaking at a meeting during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KC CI).

Ghulam Qadir Thebo said that these representatives will also help police identify illegal parking spots at various markets and work in close liaison with traffic police so that illegal parking spots could immediately be cleared with a view to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

DIG Traffic Arif Hanif, President KCCI, Abdullah Zaki, Senior Vice President, Muffasar A. Malik, Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Idrees, Former President KCCI, A. Q. Khalil, Chairman Special Committee for Small Traders – KCCI, Majeed Memon, Chairman Law & Order Sub-Committee – KCCI, Asif Chamdia and others members were also present at the meeting.

Ghulam Qadir Thebo was of the view that traffic jams being suffered by the city were mainly due to lack of mass transit facility in the city which if provided, would certainly help in resolving many issues. He informed that Karachi city holds a massive road network of 8,000 kilometres and around 3.2 million vehicles ply in the city, out of which 1.5 million are 4-wheelers whereas only 1600 traffic police officers are available in one shift to control the massive traffic which keeps growing day by day.

Delays in development works along with sit-ins/ Dharnas in various localities and the ongoing Karachi Operation are also the reasons for severe traffic jams as it has been observed that various areas are usually cordoned off by Police and Rangers during the operation against culprits, he added.

Highlighting the liquidity crunch being faced by Traffic police department, Additional IG informed that funds of 200 million rupees have not been released to traffic police department by Sindh government since 2008, which must be released immediately to improve the functioning of the department.

Speaking on the occasion, President KCCI Abdullah Zaki highlighted the grievances being faced by the business community particularly small traders due to severe traffic jams being reported from various parts of the city every day.

Abdullah, while assuring KCCI’s support to Additional IG Traffic and his team for dealing with traffic congestion on the streets of Karachi city, stressed the need to raise awareness amongst masses about traffic rules and regulations as traffic jams usually occur due to failure of the drivers in obeying traffic rules.

Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Idrees, while appreciating some steps taken by traffic police towards ensuring smooth flow of traffic at Electronic Market Saddar, further advised the Additional IG Traffic to issue directives for taking strict action illegal parking in the locality.

He also expressed deep concern over the rising trends of violating one-way rule on all the streets including flyovers, which results in frequent traffic congestions and sometimes causes severe accidents.

Muhammad Idrees, while commenting on varying lift up charges in case a vehicle is parked in no parking zone, suggested that these lift up charges must clearly be displayed at all no parking zones in order to discourage bribery in the traffic police department.

DIG Traffic Police Arif Hanif admitted that traffic congestion problems is a serious issue being faced by the public but they are trying their best to ensure that the grievances being faced by the public are minimized.

He pointed out that many buildings in major commercial markets of the city are well equipped with sufficient parking space but shopkeepers of these buildings are not parking their vehicles in the parking lot and prefer parking it on the road which causes severe traffic jams. Parking premises of such buildings are either encroached or being misused. In this regard, he asked representatives of various associations to ensure that these parking premises are strictly being used for parking purposes only in their respective areas.

Speaking on the occasion, Former President KCCI, A. Q. Khalil pointed out that encroachments in all markets of the city were the major cause of severe traffic jams. Although the government has undertaken operations against encroachers from time to time but these encroachers are temporarily removed as they reoccupy the same old spots on the streets on completion of such operations.

A. Q. Khalil suggested that 30 percent amount of each challan should be granted to traffic police officers as a token of appreciation and to motivate them whereas a fine of 50 percent amount of each challan should also be imposed on police officers who are found guilty of imposing unjust challans.

Chairman of Small Traders Sub-Committee KCCI, Majeed Memon, while highlighting the poor traffic situation across the city, pointed out that due to sheer negligence of traffic police officers, the commuters are seen fearlessly violating on-way traffic rules which not only causes traffic jams but also results in severe accidents. “Commuters remain stuck for hours on the streets whereas the traffic officers remain busy taking bribes mainly from the bikers and heavy vehicles”, he added.

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