Legislation demanded to ban road dharnas

Karachi: Chairman Businessmen Group and Former President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Siraj Kassam Teli and President KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra have urged the Sindh government to impose strict ban on holding demonstrations and sit-ins on various roads of Karachi.

In a statement issued, they said that these demonstrations and sit-ins have become a routine nowadays, causing severe traffic jams all over the city and intensifying the hardships for thousands of commuters who remain stuck up in traffic jams for hours.

“Demonstrators/ politicians/ governments always speak of their rights to demonstrate but what about the rights of thousands of commuters who suffer badly every day on the streets of Karachi because of these protests and sit-ins. Don’t these people also have rights?”, asked BMG Chairman, Siraj Kassam Teli, adding that it has been observed on various occasions that merely 25 to 30 demonstrators or slightly more come out on streets to stage sit-in or protest whereas thousands of commuters suffer for many hours due to severe traffic jams.

BMG Chairman demanded from the Sindh government to enact legislation which imposes strict ban on holding protests on roads of Karachi with a view to provide some relief to Karachiites. Any demonstration, protest or sit-in should only be allowed on any two designated sites preferably grounds or parks in each district of the city and should not be allowed on roads at any cost, he suggested.

Siraj Teli strongly criticized Administration, Police and Rangers for standing at the spot like silent spectators and doing nothing to minimize the grievances being faced by thousands of commuters who even get looted in such traffic jams as armed criminals take advantage of such traffic jams by looting the stuck-up commuters and easily fleeing from the spot either on motorbikes or even by fearlessly walking away on foot.

President KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, while expressing deep concern over poor traffic flow situation across the city, said that the economy and the business community suffer losses of millions of rupees every day whereas many patients being rushed to local hospital for medical assistance lose their lives during these traffic jams.

He was of the view that traffic situation in Karachi was getting worse with each passing day. On one hand vehicles are increasing exponentially while roads blocked due to protests and sit-in, virtually bringing life to a standstill.

He further said that citizens of Karachi have to go through mental torture everyday on the streets of Karachi as the traffic police officers deployed on some of the busiest roads of Karachi seem hopeless in effectively handling the situation.

Iftikhar Vohra, while urging the Sindh government to devise an effective strategy to ensure smooth flow of traffic, also stressed the need to enact legislations restricting ban on road protests and sit-ins.

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