Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah taking a policy decision to solve traffic congestion issue in the city directed Karachi administration to open closed parking areas of commercial buildings and shopping plazas within next ten days.
The chief minister also directed to remove Patharas, illegal parking and encroachments from important roads and areas of the city.
He took this decision while presiding over a meeting on traffic management issues at the CM House on Thursday. The meeting was attended by Transport Minister Syed Nasir Shah, IG Police AD Khawaja, Principal Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch, Transport Secretary Taha Farooqui, Traffic DIG Ameer Shaikh and others.
Briefing the chief minister, the traffic DIG said that Karachi has a population of 23 million with 3.9 million registered vehicles. The total strength of traffic police in the city is 3,200 against 3.9 million vehicles which show that on average, a traffic constable has to manage 1,031 vehicles.
Quoting the figures of Lahore, he said that it has a population of 9.7 million with 2.2 million registered vehicles and the numerical strength of traffic police in Lahore is 3,100 which show that a traffic constable has to manage 677 vehicles on average.
Talking about road safety and traffic flow management, he said that the impediments in traffic flow is caused by daily increase in vehicles, lack of parking space, encroachments along the roads, road blockade due to protests, security reasons and rallies, heavy traffic movement, bad conditions of the roads, flow of sewage on the roads and lack of walking pavements and pedestrian bridges.
The chief minister said that most of the shopping plazas and commercial buildings have parking areas in the basements and on their first, second and other floors.
“I have noticed that they have closed their parking areas, therefore vehicles are parked on the roads,” he said, and ordered the Karachi commissioner to get their parking areas open within ten days and report him.
It may be noted that the shopping centres and commercial buildings on Tariq Road, Khalid Bin Waleed Road, II Chundrigar, shopping centres and buildings along the road from Teen Talwar to Do Talwar, Clifton areas and various other roads have parking spaces but vehicles are parked on the roads.
Sindh IG Khawaja said that there are only three driving licenses’ centres and around 50 per cent drivers have no driving licenses. He pointed out that there are 88 traffic sections in the city but 70 per cent of them are located on footpaths, road corners, underneath bridges and there is no traffic headquarters in the city and even have no impound yard.
On this, the chief minister directed the IG police to prepare a plan to strengthen traffic police so that it could be implemented in phases.
It was pointed out that over 8,000 traffic challans are made every day. The annual fine collected in 2013 was Rs 253 million, in 2014 it was Rs 403 million and in 2015 it was recorded at Rs 459 million.
The chief minister urged the police to educate people about traffic laws, and said that he would consider a proposal to include traffic awareness in school syllabus.
He also directed the IG police to prepare a detailed plan to solve the issues of traffic police on priority basis.