KARACHI - Heavy vehicles running on roads throughout the day are causing massive traffic jams in the city during peak hours.
Traffic rules do not allow movement of heavy vehicular traffic on city roads from 6am to 11pm, but heavy vehicles continue to run on all major roads even during peak hours, causing massive traffic jams across the city.
The rules relating to heavy traffic apparently apply to only one main road, Shahrah-e-Faisal. Rest of the roads, including MA Jinnah Road, Shahrah-e-Pakistan, University Road, Business Recorder Road and link roads leading to Super Highway and National Highway, are seeing free movement of heavy traffic. Heavy traffic, including 20 and 40-foot long trailers, can be seen running on city roads from Shershah to Nazimabad and Shahrah-e-Pakistan to Super Highway. About 30 percent of heavy traffic vehicles use Hyderi Road to reach Super Highway, while 70 percent of them use Shahrah-e-Pakistan. It’s worth mentioning here that the route of Northern Bypass was constructed for heavy traffic on the western side of the city, but drivers avoid using this track because of a long distance. They also consider this route risky. The Northern Bypass route directly links Karachi Port to Super Highway, but it is rarely used by heavy vehicular traffic because of law enforcement agencies’ failure to provide security to goods transport vehicles. It is important to note that heavy commercial vehicles like trucks and trailers are using all bridges, including Liaquatabad Bridge, Aisha Manzil Bridge and Water Pump Bridge, to reach Super Highway.
More than a dozen heavily loaded trucks and trailers can be seen running on every bridge at any time of the day on an extreme speed, putting commuters’ and motorists’ lives at risk.
On the other hand, the city has been ignored by the authorities in last ten years and the entire infrastructure of the city is in a dilapidated condition. Roads are presenting a picture of neglect as no patchwork has been done on them for years. Construction work on the federal government-funded Green Line bus project has rendered the route from MA Jinnah Road to Surjani Town to Orangi Town useless, causing massive diversion of traffic to Shahrah-e-Pakistan.
Similarly, the ongoing construction work on University Road has forced the authorities to divert traffic to Shahrah-e-Pakistan and Dalmiya Road. Shahrah-e-Pakistan is already coping with heavy traffic load. As a result, city is witnessing massive traffic jams throughout the day. Representatives of the Sindh government said recently on the floor of the Sindh Assembly that construction work was under way at 22 sites across the city.
Keeping in view the worsening traffic situation in the city, Sindh Police Inspector General AD Khowaja has directed the DIG for traffic to chalk out a plan and ensure smooth flow of traffic. He has also told the local police to help traffic wardens during peak hours. City wardens are also being seen at major points on the roads and facilitating motorists after assumption of charge by city government representatives.
It’s worth mentioning here that the previous local government had set up the traffic wardens force to address traffic issues, but this force has not been made functional so far due to lethargic attitude of the authorities. The number of light and heavy transport vehicles has been increasing considerably in the city with the passage of every day, but authorities were not taking any steps to expand the city’s infrastructure.