— Dawn
— Dawn

GUJRAT: On the order of district and sessions judge, local civic authorities and police have started removing cat’s eyes (reflective road studs) that had been installed on various busy roads of the city as speed breakers in a bid to minimise road accidents.

A senior local lawyer, Khalid Masood Malik, had filed a writ petition in the court raising objection to installation of reflective road studs a speed breakers, arguing that they were damaging the vehicles suspension and tyres, while the motorists have also been complaining about these since long.

During the hearing of the plea on Tuesday District and Session Judge Syed Muzaffar Shah had issued an order to remove these cat’s eyes from all the roads across the district.

The court had also issued arrest warrants of Gujrat Municipal Corporation cheif officer and executive engineer of the highways department for not appearing in the court on the last date.

However, on Thursday both the officers appeared in the court.

The court had ealrier ordered the Gujrat Municipal Corporation, highways department, local police and the deputy superintendents of police (traffic) to immediately get these ‘obstacles’ removed from the roads.

It fixed March 20 as the next date of hearing of the case.

The local authorities had started installing the cat’s eyes, especially on the roads outside educational institutions around five years ago to regulate traffic flow.

Almost all the busy roads and squares now have these iron studs aimed at minimising the speed of motorbikes, cars and heavy vehicles.

During the last couple of months the traffic police had also started installing the cat’s eyes as dividers on the roads near busy squares of the city.

A senior administrative officer told Dawn that the cat’s eyes had actually been installed after analysing data of road accidents occurring on different roads provided by Rescue 1122 emergency service. He claimed the step had brought down the number of accidents on the roads where cat’s eyes were installed.

It is learnt that after the court orders, different police stations have hired the services of scrap dealers to remove the cat’s eyes. These dealers were allowed to keep the studs free of cost, sources said, adding that each piece had cost the traffic police at Rs400.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2020