Traf­fic po­lice a fail­ure for man­ag­ing traf­fic in Karachi

Driv­ing sans hel­met made big­gest crime

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL - IR­FAN ALIGI

KARACHI— Karachi Traf­fic Po­lice re­moved il­le­gal car park­ing sites from Karachi’s main fi­nance and trade cen­tre be­sides I I Chun­dri­gar Road. The re­moval of il­le­gal car park­ing sites is be­lieved to im­prove the smooth traf­fic flow. The area is pre­dom­i­nantly flooded with banks and other fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and the busi­ness com­mu­nity has lauded the Karachi Traf­fic for this ac­tion.

How­ever, the Karachi Traf­fic Po­lice has con­ducted sim­i­lar ac­tions in past, which all proved as tem­po­rary mea­sures and re­mov­ing the il­le­gal car park­ing sites would only re­sult in re­moval of il­le­gal park­ing mafia and the traf­fic flow sit­u­a­tion could not be im­proved as the num­ber of ve­hi­cles and mo­tor­cy­cles that are reg­u­larly parked in front of of­fices and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions would con­tinue as usual.

The men­ace of take­away stalls and lack of traf­fic man­age­ment and cor­rup­tion in Karachi Traf­fic Po­lice is the main root cause of all evils that has writhed the nerves of the cit­i­zens. As time proved time and again, it is ob­vi­ous that the Karachi Traf­fic Po­lice is in­ca­pable of main­tain­ing the traf­fic on sci­en­tific grounds and sadly the Traf­fic Po­lice are not trained for this.

The men­ace of il­le­gal car park­ing that is cre­at­ing dozens of grid­lock across the city is still ram­pant with the con­nivance of the Traf­fic Po­lice. The car park­ing sites are a di­rect source of huge in­come to the Karachi Met­ro­pol­i­tan Cor­po­ra­tion ( KMC) and Can­ton­ment Boards ( CB). The men­ace of il­le­gal car park­ing is flour­ish­ing in the city with the cer­tain of­fi­cials of KMC, CBs and Karachi Traf­fic Po­lice. Lo­cal Dis­trict Po­lice is also in­volved in this men­ace.

The off- the- street park­ing along­side the en­tire route start­ing from Rizvia So­ci­aty traf­fic sig­nal to Guru Mandir is off the sight of the Karachi Traf­fic Po­lice. As es­ti­mated, around 10 mil­lion peo­ple use this route to reach city cen­tre from Orangi Town, Naz­imabad, North Naz­imabad, New Karachi, North Karachi, Gul­berg, Sur­jani and F B Area.

Another route is New M A Jin­nah Road where own­ers of car show­rooms have blocked the en­tire route start­ing from Quaid’s mau­soleum to Cen­tral Prison Karachi. In past, many Karachi Com­mis­sion­ers launched a drive for clean­ing this route but they failed. This route is one of city’s top sites that is a bless­ing for the cor­rupt of­fi­cials in bu­reau­cracy and Traf­fic Po­lice.

Sad­dar is the third ma­jor area that is al­ways un­der grid­locks and the traf­fic po­lice per­son­nel de­ployed here do not man­age traf­fic flow but per­form a vig­i­lance work for Traf­fic Po­lice’s con­trac­tor for lift­ing those mo­tor­cy­cles and cars that the com­muters park along­side Ab­dul­lah Ha­roon Road. Each af­fected com­muter pays a hand­some amount in penalty to get his ve­hi­cle back.

Sadly, a multi- storey CDGK Car Park­ing Plaza is lo­cated at a dis­tance of hardly 2 kilo­me­ters, which has the ca­pac­ity to ac­com­mo­dates hun­dreds of cars and mo­tor­cy­cles but the city ad­min­is­tra­tion, Karachi Traf­fic Po­lice have failed this car park­ing plaza be­cause mak­ing this op­er­a­tional would cause an end to Traf­fic Po­lice’s in­come in mil­lions.

On the other hand, each of the Traf­fic Po­lice of­fi­cers and cops on streets have been di­rected to tar­get at least tar­get 20 com­muters and im­pose penalty on them for traf­fic rules’ vi­o­la­tions. How­ever, the mo­tor­cy­clists and driv­ers of small load­ing cargo ve­hi­cles are the sole tar­get. Each mo­tor­cy­clist with­out a hel­met is fined for Rs. 150 plus Rs. 20 as bank charges. Thus a to­tal of Rs. 170 is col­lected from the mo­tor­cy­clist. Traf­fic Po­lice have earned mil­lions through this ac­tion only against the mo­tor­cy­clists and pe­nal­iz­ing the com­muters for park­ing their mo­tor­cy­cles and cars alone ex­cept own­ers of car show­rooms, au­tor­ck­shaw garages on en­tire route from Rizvia So­ci­ety to Guru Mandir alone.

The use of cell phone dur­ing rid­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle or car or any four wheeler is also a se­ri­ous vi­o­la­tion of Traf­fic Rules and is highly dan­ger­ous for the driv­ers, pas­sive pas­sen­gers and other rid­ers and driv­ers. How­ever, Karachi Traf­fic Po­lice might not have any record of im­po­si­tion of fine on those driv­ers and rid­ers caught dur­ing the act of us­ing cell phone dur­ing driv­ing or rid­ing. Con­versely, the ac­tion against AFR ( Ap­plied For Reg­is­tra­tion) and fancy num­ber plates, tinted glassed cars is also miss­ing. It is ap­par­ent that lack­ing a hel­met dur­ing ride of a mo­tor­cy­cle has be­come the crime of high­est level alone.

Apart from Traf­fic Po­lice’s ac­tions, dis­trict po­lice are equally tor­ment­ing the com­muters es­pe­cially the mo­tor­cy­clists in the garb of check­ing for driv­ing li­censes and doc­u­ments of mo­tor­cy­cles as the mo­tor­cy­clists are al­ways easy bait for mint­ing money. Ban on pil­lion rid­ing proves to be a sea­son of the bless­ing for dis­trict po­lice.

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