No respite in traffic jams in city

KARACHI: Despite ban on Chingchi rickshaws, crippling traffic jams still persist on city’s almost all busy roads, causing troubles for motorists and commuters in the metropolis.

The traffic jam issue has became an order of the day, exposing the tall claims of traffic and other relevant departments who boast about bettering traffic system in the city.

There are Sindh government’s Transport Department, Karachi Traffic Police, Traffic Engineering Bureau and KMC’s Transport Department whose responsibility is to improve traffic monitoring and management system for the urban transportation but all these departments have practically proved ineffective or uncoordinated with each other and thus they have failed to improve Karachi’s traffic system, substantially.

Karachi is the economic hub of the country where the worsening traffic system has become a curse for its residents and also affecting the business community. The worst sufferers are the commuters who face immense problems while commuting to their work places and back home.

In Karachi, fuel worth Rs 400 billion is lost annually due to traffic jams, which directly or indirectly costs the Karachiites, says a NED University’s survey report. It also says that the traffic mismanagement has increased the road accidents in the metropolis. It has been observed that long queues of all types of vehicles are seen on city’s different roads including MA Jinnah Road, Shara-e-Faisal, Tariq Road, II Chundrigar Road, Sindh Secretariat and Court Road, Saddar, Burns Road, Baba-e-Urdu Road, Main University Road, Prof Ghafoor Road and Johar Chowrangi. It has affected common man and business community at a large level.

When some commuters approached in the busy Saddar area of Karachi, they said there are four major factors causing traffic jams in the city including VIP protocol, illegal encroachment along roads, poor road markings, faulty traffic signals and poor training of traffic police.

However, NED University’s Prof Dr Usman Ali Shah said that the government should invest in public transport sector which is directly connected with common man. He said concerned authorities should control increasing vehicles in the city as it has now become very difficult for a person to drive a car in the city.

A LLB student Kamran said they feel dizzy when they travel in overcrowded public transport due to suffocation and congestion. He said the government should think about the citizens of Karachi as the city accommodates 36 percent of urban population of Sindh province.

A business man, Abdul Ghaffar said that the business community has been more affected due to traffic congestion as they cannot send their goods to their customers easily and timely in the city. He said the government should declare traffic free zones in Karachi and construct parking zones in busiest areas like Saddar.

Though Saddar has been declared a no parking area, with no-parking signboards erected everywhere, but the people park their vehicles in front of these warning signboards and even in the presence of traffic cops, which speaks volumes about the efficiency of our traffic police.

On the other hand, Sindh Transport Department’s Secretary Taha Farooqui admits that only 6 percent of public transport is available for 42 percent of daily commuters in the city which is very negligible.

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