PESHAWAR: Members of the Peshawar district council on Monday complained about the frequent traffic jams in the city and blamed it on the inefficiency of the traffic police and city district government.

During a session of the council chaired by convener Syed Qasim Ali Shah, the councillors said the city’s roads often remained choked with traffic with traders and shopkeepers being affected by snarl-ups.

They said the presence of private medical facilities and wholesale drug markets and lack of parking spaces in the city’s limits caused mess on the roads.

The councillors claimed that the high-rise buildings put up in recent years didn’t have parking lots, while the basement parking space of others was used for other purposes.

On a point of order, Taqdir Ali said the roads of Sarki Gate, Church Road and nearby areas often saw snarl-ups due to the large number of motorcycle shops.

Nazim insists BRT to address traffic jams

“In the evening, motorcycle dealers occupy half of the roads leaving little space for motorists and pedestrians to move,” he said.

Sartaj Khan said the traffic mess was a very serious issue, which had forced the residents of other cities to avoid visit to Peshawar city.

He said traders and shopkeepers were among those mostly affected by traffic jams.

The councillor demanded of the local government to order the shifting of private medical facilities from Dabgari area and wholesale medicine centres from the Namak Mandi area to the Ring Road on the city’s outskirts saying traffic moves on a snail’s pace on several roads of the area from morning to late night.

“Smooth traffic can be seen in Dabgari and Namak Mandi areas over the weekend when the private clinics and wholesale drug centres are closed,” he said.

Mr Sartaj said many mall owners used parking lots of their plazas for purposes other than parking and therefore, visitors used roadsides as parking space.

Leader of the opposition Syed Zahir complained that most traffic lights in the city were out of order.

He alleged that taxis and rickshaws with route permits for other districts plied in Peshawar.

The opposition leader demanded the traffic police’s crackdown on them and thus, easing traffic congestion on the city roads.

He also drew the attention of the city district government to the illegal parking lots in the city and taxi stands, saying they occupy half of the roads.

Earlier, superintendent police of traffic headquarters Fazl Wahid Khan informed the session that 50,000 rickshaws plied the city roads without permit, which was a major reason for traffic jams in the city.

Accompanied by SSP Traffic Kashif Zulfiqar, he attended the council’s meeting to brief its members about traffic problems and their causes in the city.

He said 85,000 rickshaws plied the city roads and 50,000 of them didn’t have permit.

The SP said 1,115,000 motorcycles and 853,000 vehicles used the city’s roads on a daily basis.

District nazim Mohammad Asim Khan said new roads hadn’t been constructed in the last few decades though the local population had increased fast.

He, however, said the Bus Rapid Transit project’s successful execution would address traffic jams on the city’s roads as the people would prefer to use the bus service instead of their vehicles.

Published in Dawn, December 18th, 2018