GUJRAT: The Sialkot-Lahore motorway (M-11) is a dangerous zone for the safety and security of road users as occurrence of fatal accidents and criminal incidents in the absence of law enforcement has been a routine matter on the route since it was opened around six months ago.
Gujranwala Regional Police Officer (RPO) Riaz Nazeer Gara had also proposed deployment of Punjab Highway Police on M-11 as a stopgap arrangement until the formal functioning of motorway police to improve the rapidly deteriorating security and road safety situation there. However, neither the motorway police nor the Punjab highway patrolling police could be deployed so far on the route making it vulnerable to the motorists to travel on it.
Moreover, there has been no rest areas nor any petrol station located all around the route right from Lahore Ring Road to Sambrial (Sialkot) which makes at least 104 kilometres however there are three toll plazas locating along this long route -- two on motorway (M-11) and one between ring road and motorway in Lahore near the bridge over river Ravi.
RPO Gara had written a letter to the Punjab police chief seeking to pursue urgent deployment of motorway police on M-11 whereas the Punjab police chief had also made a similar request to the NH&MP IG to apply all the patrolling mechanism on the said route.
The Gujranwala city police officer in May last had brought into the notice of RPO the rising incidents of heinous crimes along the 42 kilometres patch of Sialkot-Lahore motorway passing through various villages of Wahndo and Ferozewala police stations.
Similarly, the Sialkot police as well as the local businessmen belonging to Gujrat, Wazirabad and other parts of Gujranwala region had sought attention of senior authorities of police as well as divisional administration about the issues pertaining to poor road safety and absence of patrolling by the motorway police in the presence of some suspicious vehicles moving often along the road.
The health authorities in Gujranwala and Tehsil Headquarters hospitals of Daska, Pasrur and Sambrial have also confirmed a number of fatal road accidents on M-11.
It is learnt that the superintendents of police (SPs) of Gujranwala Saddar and Civil Lines division had initially reported the security lapses on the motorway such as no enforcing agency is patrolling on the route, U-turns are not properly plugged, construction is underway at some places on motorway and moreover plastic barriers used by the construction company are also being used by the criminals on motorway for the criminal activities such as road robberies and firing etc.
Citing the aforementioned reasons, these SPs were of the opinion that the route had become vulnerable for road users where criminals strike and escape due to non-deployment of motorway police resulting in the over burdening to the Gujranwala police.
Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2020