KARACHI: The Provincial Public Safety and Police Complaints Commission on Wednesday withdrew a resolution passed earlier against the inspector general of police for not attending two consecutive meetings of the body.
The meeting of the safety commission was presided over by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah. Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah, IGP Dr Kaleem Imam, DIG-Traffic Javed Mahar and other senior officials briefed the meeting.
On Dec 6, the resolution against IGP Imam was passed as he chose to attend an emergency meeting convened by the prime minister in Islamabad instead of participating in the commission’s meeting held at the CM House.
On Wednesday, the resolution passed against the police chief was withdrawn “on the request of the IG police”.
The traffic police issue over three million tickets during 2019
It was decided that the IGP would present an annual police plan in the next meeting of the commission. The rules of the commission had been framed and sent to the law department for vetting.
The meeting was attended by all members of the commission — MPAs Sharjeel Inam Memon, Imdad Pitafi, Shamim Mumtaz, Shahnaz Begum, Mohammad Ali Aziz, Hasnain Ali Mirza — and Karamat Ali, Barrister Haya Eman, Jhamat Mal and Qurban Ali Malano.
Rs755.5m traffic fines collected
The commission was informed that the traffic police had recovered a total of Rs755.8 million fine against 3.36m tickets issued during the year 2019.
The figure is 30 per cent more than the challans issued in 2018.
These tickets were issued against the violation of one-way, using fancy number plates, tinted glasses, juvenile driving, poor CNG cylinders, travelling on vehicles’ roofs, signal jumping and driving without licence.
Some 35 commercial buildings, which had converted their parking space into shops, were issued notices to restore parking spaces.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister directed the Sindh police to ensure proper safety and security of the people of the province.
Referring to a police suggestion that the Lines Area Parking Plaza, Baradari Basement parking and three grounds — Railway Ground near GPO, China Ground on Kashmir Road and a vacant plot at Hassan Square turning — should be utilised for parking, the chief minister directed the chief secretary and IGP to review the proposal and implement it, if feasible.
The chief minister also asked the chief secretary to make necessary arrangements for what he termed “speaking roads” with enough road signs and markings for convenience and safety of the public.
He also directed the chief secretary to provide necessary staff to the secretary of the commission for official work.
Karachi’s traffic issues highlighted
The chief secretary said that on the instructions of the chief minister he had been holding meetings with the traffic police in which 147 priority intersections for lane markings, stop line/zebra crossing and 178 locations for installation of traffic signboards had been identified in the city.
The commission was informed that Karachi spread over an area of 3,527 square km with an over 10,000 km road network. There are 5.3m vehicles — 3.2m motorcycles, 1.2 million cars/jeeps, 29,086 taxis, 23,074 trucks etc.
The total strength of the traffic police is 7,085 and they were equipped with 164 four-wheelers and 605 motorcycles.
Major impediments in the smooth flow of traffic had been identified as 91 damaged roads, illegal parking, and absence of taxi, bus and truck stands, encroachments along the roads.
At this the chief minister said that the roads were being repaired while the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation had already launched an operation against encroachments along main roads.
It was pointed out that 52 roads in the city had encroachments against which Karachi police launched an operation and registered 97 FIRs and arrested 168 people.
It was also pointed out that 31 commercial buildings had converted their parking spaces into shops and warehouses. At this, the chief secretary said that notices had been issued to building owners to restore their parking spaces.
Traffic issues had also emerged due to 33 ongoing development projects, including the projects of the bus rapid transit system.
Traffic police suggest construction of bypasses
The DIG-traffic in his plan suggested construction of a bypass road from West Wharf to Northern Bypass along the seashore exactly on the back side of Machhar Colony.
The construction of the Southern Bypass to divert heavy traffic from KPT to Korangi Industrial Area via Seaview; construction of interchange bridge at ICI junction, construction of head bridge at PIDC bridge to TPX container yard along M.T. Khan Road was also discussed.
The chief minister said that these projects had already been included in the Karachi package and the local government minister had started his consultative meeting with the agencies concerned whose roads/area would be used for construction of bridges.
A police report submitted before the commission said that police had arrested 11,057 suspects, recovered 12.884 kilograms of ice, 72.7kg of heroin, around 8,000kg of charas, 186.29kg of opium, 180,844 bottles of local and 2,353 bottles of imported liquor.
The meeting was also told that the police confiscated 1,141,111 litres of Iranian diesel and arrested 448 suspects.
At this, the chief minister said that the police were not responsible for taking action against the smuggling of Iranian diesel but he had assigned them the task because the money generated from smuggling was used for terrorist activities.
Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2019