Rerouting of minibuses to unclog Saddar

Karachi: In a bold decision to clear Empress Market Saddar area from perpetual traffic jams, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation KMC has redesigned the routes of 46 buses and minibuses barring entry of many of them in the area, besides banning all types of parking from Empress Market to Regal Chowk.

KMC Administrator Syed Hashim Raza says a new traffic management plan for Saddar has been chalked out to clear this congested residential and commercial area from traffic jams. It may be recalled that the previous Commissioner Karachi Roshan Ali Shaikh last year had announced a similar plan named “Pedestrianisation of Saddar”; however, like the announcement of revival of Karachi Circular Railway KCR this plan was also put on the back burner due to political expediencies.

KMC Administrator chairing a meeting of public transporters and administrative officers said to facilitate the citizens they are not banning entry of all public transport vehicles in the area, but just rerouting them to lessen traffic jams in the area.

Presently, there are 22 routes of wide-bodied buses, 19 of minibuses, 3 of KPTS buses and 1 each of ‘coaches’ and UTS buses pass through Empress Market Saddar area. Here public transport enters from five roads: M A Jinnah Road, Rafiqui Shaheed Road, Dr Daudpota Road, Iqbal Shaheed Road and Mansfield Street. Many bus routes use Saddar as their terminus thus dozens of buses are parked here creating crippling traffic jams.

However, under the proposed rerouting plan all public transport buses coming from Jinnah Hospital side would be returned making a loop at Lucky Star. All buses and minibuses coming from M A Jinnah would not be allowed to enter Saddar and instead routed to Saeed Manzil direction. Moreover, there would be ban on entry of Chingchis in Saddar area. In order to solve the traffic problems in the area, it is also decided to revive the parking plaza of Saddar where there is facility to park more than 600 vehicles.

KMC Administrator has said that transporters have been taken in confidence regarding rerouting of Saddar buses. He said the compensation to the transporters for burnt vehicles would be given soon.