KARACHI: Taking notice of prolonged traffic jams in the city, Inspector General of Police, Sindh, Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar has asked the Sindh government to approach all stakeholders to chalk out a strategy to provide relief to motorists, it emerged on Wednesday.
The stakeholders’ help has been sought as traffic blockades mainly occur due to plying of heavy commercial vehicles from Jinnah Bridge to Karachi Port and Keamari Oil Terminals, which cause congestion on three main adjoining roads where recently people were stuck for three days continuously, according to official sources and documents reviewed by Dawn.
Informed sources said that the IGP had recently written a letter to the Sindh chief secretary and additional chief secretary for home, drawing their attention towards the traffic jams.
It has been pointed out in the official communication that the “commercial traffic coming from all parts of Pakistan to Karachi Port and Keamari Oil Terminal (for loading/unloading of goods and oil) result in traffic jams.”
Writes a letter to draw attention of the Sindh chief secretary to the problem
It has been stated that “the spillover effect of this traffic jam is the further traffic congestion and jamming on Mauripur Road, I.I. Chundrigar Road and Mai Kolachi Road.”
This congestion and blocking of traffic on the roads “jeopardize the traffic management in district South during peak hours.”
The letter revealed that this problem was occurring very frequently and the recent example was the jamming of traffic on March 13, 14 and 15.
“During daytime, the traffic chocking could not be normalised for the whole day, causing serious problems to the normal citizens moving on the roads.”
The provincial police chief contended that this “issue deserves attention from another angle i.e. if some incident/accident takes place within the premises of Oil Area of Karachi Port, the rescue apparatus needs open and clear roads approaching these installations for a quick response and rescue, which is impossible during traffic jams.”
Explaining the reasons behind the prolonged traffic jams, IGP Mahar said: “The whole problem emerges due to the fact most of the heavy commercial/loading vehicles coming from upcountry instead of going to Mauripur Truck Stand and Zulfikarabad Oil Terminal (ZOT) come straight to Karachi Port and Keamari Oil Terminal for loading/unloading.”
The IGP regretted that there was no mechanism of monitoring their arrival, reporting and further organised movement from Mauripur Truck Stand and ZOT to the port and Keamari Oil Terminal.
“This problem needs serious attention and immediate solution by involving all stakeholders, especially when the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the High Court of Sindh have issued very clear directions,” said the IGP.
He has suggested to the provincial government to call a meeting of all stakeholders to chalk out practicable standard operating procedures in the light of the courts’ order so that relief could be provided to commuters and other road users of Karachi.
Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2021