Karachi: In response to concerns expressed over pathetic traffic condition in Karachi particularly at the old city area and all industrial town zones, DIG Traffic Karachi Javed Ali Mahar asked the Karachi Chamber to nominate a team comprising five to six representatives so that they along with higher authorities from the Traffic Police Department including the DIG Traffic himself could visit all these areas, review traffic flow situation, identify issues and accordingly take steps on priority to effectively deal with worsening traffic jams and provide relief to the masses.

Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry, DIG Traffic said, “Regular meetings on fortnightly basis will be held with the proposed team from KCCI so that the traffic related issues could be discussed at length and the affected areas could also be toured to witness ground realities and devise effective strategies to ensure smooth flow of traffic.”

President KCCI M. Shariq Vohra, Senior Vice President Saqib Goodluck, Vice President Shamsul Islam Khan, Chairman of KCCI’s Special Committee for Small Trades Majeed Memon, Chief Police Chamber Liaison Committee Hafeez Aziz and KCCI Managing Committee Members were also present at the meeting.

Javed Mahar said, “We are facing many challenges because of poor infrastructure and rising number of vehicles plying on the dilapidated roads which have worsened further after this year’s rainfalls yet the traffic police department is trying its best to somehow deal with the situation and minimize the grievances being faced by the commuters.”

He was of the opinion that traffic Police Officers were also the worst hit sufferers of the disaster caused by rains as they face immense hardships in efficiently discharging their duties on the broken roads of Karachi yet they continue to work hard in extremely tough and harsh conditions so that people face minimum hardships and reach their destinations on time. “Traffic Police department is working in close coordination with all civic departments as many of the traffic jam related issues are mainly triggered due to civic issues particularly the poor sewage system”, he added.

He was of the opinion that keeping in view the rising number of vehicles, Karachi desperately needs a mass transit system. On completion of the ongoing Green Line Project and Red Line Project along with Karachi Circular Railway Project, the public will certainly get a huge sigh of relief as these projects, once on the ground, would certainly ease traffic movement on many roads of Karachi as majority of the population would switch to these modes of transit to reach their destinations.

He assured that all the suggestions given by KCCI for improving the performance of FM88.6 will certainly be taken into consideration and it will be used as an effective tool to raise awareness amongst the masses about traffic rules and regulations, besides making it more proactive so that the public could frequently be updated about traffic condition at some of the busiest roads of Karachi. “Moreover, Traffic Police Department also intends give access to its FM Channel on YouTube as well which would also prove fruitful in raising awareness amongst those people who often use YouTube instead of tuning into any radio channel”, he added.

Earlier, President KCCI Shariq Vohra, while welcoming DIG Traffic, pointed out that frequent traffic jam also terribly affect the imports, exports and industrial activities in all seven industrial town zones of Karachi and after this year’s Monsoon rainfalls, the situation has worsened to such an extent that traffic jams have become the most severest and pressing issue being suffered not only by the business community but also by all the Karachiites.

“It is a matter of grave concern that movement of heavy vehicles from the Ports in Karachi to other areas of the city and also the upcountry is allowed for hardly just 8 to 10 hours which happens nowhere around the world. Due to limited timing given for movement of trucks carrying imported and exportable consignments, the business community often suffers serious losses which needs to be addressed”, he said.

In this regard, President KCCI underscored the need to establish two exclusive corridors for heavy vehicles only which must connect Karachi Port with Highways so that the heavy vehicles could move to the upcountry from ports without damaging the roads in the city. “DIG Traffic must raise this demand at the highest level which would be highly appreciated by the business community”, he added

Shariq Vohra further stressed that traffic police department will have adopt latest technologies including use of gadgets and installation of smart signaling system which are being used in many cities around the world. “Traffic signboards about rules and regulations are also displayed at various spots in many cities but unfortunately, these signboards hardly existed at the roads in Karachi that has resulted in making the masses totally ignorant about the basic traffic rules and violations.

He informed that the traffic situation in downtown/old city area of Karachi, where all the whole markets were present, was also really worse yet no attention was being paid the traffic problems in these areas. “Many police officers, instead of controlling traffic, can easily be seen negotiating bribes with violators which also require strictest action as it sends a very negative message about the entire department”, he added.