Illegal bus terminals escalate traffic jams in city


No official action is in sight against more than 200 illegal bus terminals operating in different residential areas of the metropolitan, causing frequent traffic jams and increasing air and noise pollution.
Karachi could be termed as a unique mega urban city because it had no tangible infrastructure for public transport sector. The city was not only deprived of metro rail and bus services but it even lacked proper bus terminals.
During the last days of the city government rule, three main bus terminals were planned to be constructed at Superhighway, National Highway and Yusuf Goth, RCD Road; however, except the Yusuf Goth terminal the other projects were still awaiting materialisation despite the passing of many years.
The private transporters plying buses and coaches from the metropolitan to different upcountry destinations have illegally occupied roads and footpaths at Sohrab Goth, Cantt Station, Saddar, Liaquatabad, Lea Market, Landhi, Gulshah-e-Hadeed and dozens of other busy residential areas of the city.
These illegal bus terminals were not only creating massive traffic jams in the city, but were also responsible for increased noise and smoke pollution in the residential areas. In many areas like Saddar and MA Jinnah Road, these illegal bus stands were situated near education institutes including girls’ schools and colleges, thus creating nuisance for female students and teachers. However, the police and administrative officers despite knowing the problems created by these illegal bus stands for area residents provided overt and covert support to these lawbreakers against payments of heavy bribes. Though the citizen rights groups, media and environmental protection organisations have been raising the issue of 200-plus illegal bus terminals, but the administration was not ready to take action to facilitate the citizens.
During any hour of the day, hundreds of buses and coaches could be seen parked illegally on roads and footpaths in open violation of existing rules and laws, but no action was taken against them. This malpractice could be easily noticed at the illegal bus terminals of Sohrab Goth, Saddar, Lea Market, Landhi and other areas. It is important to mention here that if ordinary citizens illegally parked their cars on the road or pavement, the traffic police would swiftly toe it away to receive a fine or a bribe, but these traffic cops failed to take any action against illegal bus terminals where hundreds of vehicles were parked.
The citizens have demanded of the city’s administration to take notice of this big civic nuisance and immediately remove all illegal intra-city bus terminals from the limits of the residential areas. The lingering projects of setting up intra-city bus terminals at Superhighway and National Highway should also be started and completed on fast track basis, said citizens.