KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided to recruit around 6,000 traffic cops and has approved an Automation Traffic Management and Control System (ATMCS) to extend and improve the traffic management system in Karachi.
The traffic control system will be based on that of European countries. This was decided in a meeting, presided over by Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah at the CM House on Monday.
It was also decided to expedite work on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects and to physically lay the ground work for the Orange Line from November 5. The meeting was informed that the provincial government has finalised all required formalities and has decided to enter an agreement with partner organisations to construct the 23-kilometre Yellow Line and also start the intercity bus transit projects to bring 100 new buses on the roads in November.
The CM directed the traffic police officers to fully implement the traffic laws and to use their powers to ensure smooth traffic flow in the city. He agreed to introduce amendments in the traffic laws if its weaknesses were identified. Shah said the Sindh government was already working on legislation to improve transport facilities for the people. A bill for the establishment of the Sindh Mass Transit Authority (SMTA) has also been prepared and will be presented in the next assembly session.
Participants of the meeting raised many issues, including illegal parking, encroachments on roads, nonfunctional traffic signals, implementation of traffic rules and the imposition of fines on violators.
Expressing his concern over the violation of traffic rules, the CM directed traffic cops not to allow heavy vehicles in the city during working hours and asked them to segregate their routes, allowing them on specific routes during midnight hours.
He directed the IG Sindh to ensure fool proof security and provide bullet-proof vests, helmets and weapons to traffic constables and depute more than one constable at a signal.
Traffic DIG Dr Ameer Shaikh said that 3.9 million vehicles are registered in Karachi, out of which 23,000 are buses. He said that there are 166 traffic signals being controlled by five different administrative organisations and added that some of them are out of order. He said that 900 new vehicles are added per day and 20,000 per month in Karachi, which has created traffic congestion.
“We have 3,000 traffic personnel for a vehicular population of 3.9 million, as compared to same strength in Lahore for its 2.6 million vehicular population,” he said, requesting the appointment of more cops and recommending the shifting of illegal bus and truck stand outside the city.
Transport secretary Tauha Farooqui said that paperwork for the Orange line project having 4.7km length and totally funded by the Sindh government was completed and they are ready to launch its work on November 5.
Farooqui said that presently a group of investors was negotiating with his management to bring 50 air-conditioned and 50 non-air-conditioned buses on to the roads of Karachi.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2015.