KARACHI: The Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister former Justice Maqbool Baqar while presiding over a meeting regarding traffic issues has directed the Commissioner and Karachi police to start a vigorous crackdown against the illegal parking areas in the city and prosecute the culprits involved in the racket and onward no agency would designate parking slot without consultation with the Traffic Police.

The CM said that there were different agencies involved in creating traffic problems in the city, therefore, he has called a joint meeting of Karachi Police, Traffic Police, traffic engineering bureau, SEPA.

The meeting was attended by Caretaker Minister Home Brig Haris Nawaz (r), Minister Tourism and Environment Arshad Wali Mohammad, Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab, Home Secretary Iqbal Memon, IG Police Riffat Mukhtar, Additional IG Karachi Khadim Rind, Commissioner Karachi Saleem Rajput, Secretary Transport Asad Zamin, DIG Traffic Iqbal Dara, DIG Driving Licenses Irfan Baloch, DG SEPA Waris Gabol, Director Traffic Engineering Tariq Raffi and other concerned. DIG Traffic Iqbal Dara briefed the Chief Minister on the overall traffic police strength, and the issues involved in traffic congestion in the city.

The traffic police have a total strength of 9077 against which 6699 are working which shows a shortfall of 26.1 percent or 2378 policemen. The CM was told that the city has a network of 9500 km where around 6.5 million vehicles, including 4,054,546 motorcycles are plying.

Approximately 350,000 new vehicles are registered every year in the city and around 65,000 extra seat Rickshaws are running in the city on illegal routes. During 2023 around 1.62 million tickets were issued for violation of traffic laws against which Rs836.12 million fines was recovered.

It was pointed out that with the induction of more Mass Transit systems like Green and Orange lines, the traffic issues would be resolved. The issue of traffic jams at and around University Road is the result of prolonged delays in the completion of the ongoing redline corridor.

The CM was told that movement of heavy traffic was restricted in the city area during daytime from 0600-2300 hours. However, there was a dire need to promulgate Section 144 CrPC on the movement of heavy traffic in the city during day hours except the vehicles carrying essential commodities. It was pointed out that the solution to the traffic challenge may lie in the initiation of the projects like Mauripur Expressway and the redesigning of the Lyari Expressway for the movement of heavy transport.

At this, Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab said that Lyari Expressway was designed and built for heavy traffic which has been endorsed by its consultant in writing. Only NHA was raising this point, otherwise, it has been resolved and heavy traffic be allowed on the Lyari Expressway. The CM constituted a committee under Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab with DIG Traffic, DG KDA and others concerned to sit together and resolve the issues so that Lyari Expressway could be open for heavy traffic.

The bottlenecks identified by the DIG traffic in the smooth flow of the traffic include SM Taufeeq Road, the Upward ramp of Liaquatabad Flyover towards Karimabad in front of Al-Karam Square which needed to be widened. Shahrah-e-Usman Rimz in front of Siddiq-e-Akbar Masjid at Nagan has become narrow due to the Green Line BRT station, therefore the width of footpaths needs to be reduced. Tariq Road at Ittehad Signal in front of Ghani’s Uniform has an unnecessary cut which creates congestion and needs to be closed.

Similarly, 11 bottlenecks were identified which could be rectified by widening the road. The CM directed Mayor Karachi to personally visit the bottlenecks and resolve their issues. Another issue of traffic congestion as identified by the traffic police was encroachments for which the CM directed Commissioner Karachi Saleem Rajput to remove the encroachment and resolve the issues. The CM was told that the present size and future growth of the city a sustainable, efficient transportation system requires the configuration of multiple agencies under a single body/authority.

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