KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Thursday directed the transport secretary and Karachi mayor to consult with all stakeholders and come up with a comprehensive plan within a month on the issues of heavy vehicles and deteriorating traffic situation in the metropolis.
The two-judge bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar directed them that a meeting of all stakeholders must be held within 10 days.
When a petition about the deteriorating traffic situation in the metropolis came up for hearing on Thursday, the secretary for transport, city mayor and DIG (traffic) appeared before the court.
Orders FIA to assist police in finding around 20 missing children
The mayor said that offices of intra-city buses were set up almost everywhere in the city and the entry of heavy vehicles in the metropolis must be banned. He said it was the responsibility of the provincial government to set up bus terminals on the outskirts of the city.
The officials of the provincial government submitted that a complete ban on heavy vehicles/containers transporting goods from the Karachi port may adversely affect the national economy.
The bench observed that a permanent resolution of the issue was needed and sought a comprehensive plan by Dec 14.
Faisal Bangali and others had moved the SHC against the relevant authorities over the worsening situation of traffic in Karachi, seeking rerouting of heavy vehicles through non-residential areas as well as improvement in public transport.
They asked the court to issue directives to the authorities to improve public transport and introduce other alternatives to help commuters and reduce the burden on the existing transport. The court was further asked to order the authorities to strictly conduct fitness tests of vehicles running on city roads.
The SHC had imposed a ban on the movement of heavy vehicles in the city during daytime in March last year. However, the Supreme Court set aside the order in May 2017 and observed that the SHC order was against a 2007 verdict of the SC.
Another bench of the SHC on Thursday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to assist the police to locate the whereabouts of around 20 missing children.
The two-judge bench of the SHC headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, hearing a number of cases of missing persons, expressed dissatisfaction over a progress report field by CIA DIG Amin Yusufzai,
who is heading a committee tasked to supervise the investigation and recovery of the children.
The bench raised the question about the “use of these children in human trafficking” and told the FIA to assist the police to locate them. It also expressed displeasure over the slow pace of investigation and said that the DIG would have to attend every hearing till the children’s recovery.
The bench directed the police and FIA to use modern devices and make all efforts to locate the children and file a report by Dec 6.
On a directive of the SHC, the police had lodged 23 FIRs regarding missing children at Awami Colony, North Nazimabad, Nazimabad, Ferozabad, Saudabad, Docks, Preedy, Boat Basin, Quaidabad, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, New Karachi Industrial Area and Korangi police stations. Later, two of the children returned home.
The petition was filed by Roshni Research and Development Welfare in 2012, seeking court directives to the provincial police for considering the missing children’s cases, who went missing in different parts of Karachi, a cognizable offence and registering FIRs in that regard.
The NGO alleged that cases of missing children were not properly investigated by the police which resulted in many preventable deaths.
Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2018